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I^ONnoN : 

Printed by A. & R. Sr)ottiiwoo<le, 



-lid'lu/ti^ by Jolvi Murray Mbmiurti-y StrcYi //vA'* 






Zbc Xtbrar? 


TUnivermt? College 

TllniPerefts ot Toronto 

professor HltreD Bahcx 
5amiar^ 15, 1941 












This Volume contains the fourth and fifth 
Cantos of Don Juan, written at Ravenna, in 
1821 ; and the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and 
tenth, all written at Pisa, in 1822 and 1823. 

Lord Byron's temporary suspension of this 
Poem when he had finished Canto the fifth, 
and the circumstances under which he resumed 
a very favourite plan, twelve months afterwards, 
are explained in the note introductory to the 
sixth Canto. 

The extracts now appended to the siege, in 
Cantos VII. and VIII., will, it is presumed, 
interest, and perhaps surprise many readers. 
It will be seen that, throughout this powerful 
picture, the Poet has relied on a literal transcript 
of recorded facts, with precisely the same feel- 
ings which had produced the terrible verisi- 
militude of his shipwreck in Canto II.; and 
it must please every one to know that those 
traits of graceful humanity, with which Don 


Juan's personal conduct is made to relieve the 
horrors of a Russian sack, are only a faithful 
copy of what was done, in the moment of victory 
at Ismail, by a real " preux chevalier," the 
Duke of Richelieu. 

London, March 15. 1833. 


DON JUAX. Canto IV. - _ ^1 

DON JUAN. Canto V. . - - 57 

Appindix to Canto V. 


DON JUAN. Canto VI. - . . 125 

Preface to Cantos VI. VII. and VIII. . 127 

DON JUAN. Canto VII. - . - 175 

- 21 


DON JUAN. Canto IX. - . _ 267 

DON JUAN. Canto X. - . . 30I 




[Canto III. originally included almost all the stanzas which 
now form Canto IV. Cantos III., IV., and V. were pub- 
lished together, in 8vo., in August, 1821. The following are 
extracts from Lord Byron's letters to Mr. Murray : — 

Bavcnna, December 4 1819. — " The third Canto of Don Juan is com- 
pleted, in about two hundred stanzas j very decent, I believe, but do not 
know, and it is useless to discuss." 

December la 1819. —" 1 have finished the third Canto, but the things I 
have read and heard discourage all further publication — at least for the 
present The cry is up, and cant is up. I should have no objection to 
return the price of the copyright" 

February 7. 1820. — "I have cut the third Canto into two, because it 
was too long ; and I tell you this beforehand, because in case of any reckon- 
ing between you and me, these two are only to go for one, as this was the 
original form, and, in fact, the two together are not longer than one of the 
first : so remember that I have not made this division to double upon you. 
— 1 have not yet sent off the Cantos, and have some doubt whether they 
ought to be published, for they have not the spirit of the first The outcry 
has not frightened but it has hurt me, and I have not written con amore 
this time" 

October 12. 1820.—" I don't feel inclined to care further about Don 
Juan. What do you think a very pretty Italian lady said to me the other 
day ? She had read it in the French, and paid me some compliments, with 
due DRAWBACKS, upon it I answered, that what she said was true, but that 
I suspected it would live longer than Childe Harold. — 'Ah, but' (said 
she) ' / would rather have the fame of Childe Harold for three years than 
am IMMORTALITY of Don Juan /' I'he truth is, that it is too true, and the 
women Late many things which strip off the tinsel of sentiment ; and they 
are right, as it would rob them of their weapons. I never knew a woman 
who did not hate De Grammont's Memoirs for the same reason." 

We subjoin a single specimen of the contemporary criticism 
on Cantos III., IV., and V. 

•* It seems to have become almost an axiom in the literary world, that 
DOthing is so painful to the sensibilities of an author as the palpable 
neglect of his productions. From this species of mortification, no poet has 
ercr, perhaps, l)een more fully exempt than Lord Byron. None of his pub- 
lications have failed in at least exciting a sufficient portion of general in. 
terest and attention ; and even those among them which the scrutinising 
eye of criticism might deem somewhat unworthy of his powers, have never 
compelled him, like many of his poetical brethren, to seek refuge from the 
apathy and want of discernment of contemporaries, in the consoling anti- 
c'pation of posthumous honours and triumphs. But, if we are to infer, 
•■- ■■: the axiom already alluded to, that extensive notoriety must be pleasing 
B 2 

in the same proportion that neglect is distressing to an author, then none 
of his lordship's productions can afford him so ample a field for self-con- 
gratulation as the Don Juan. Revilers and partisans have alike contributed 
to the popularity of this singular work ; and the result is, that scarcely any 
poem of the present day has been more generally read, or its continuation 
more eagerly and impatiently awaited. Its poetical merits have been ex- 
tolled to the skies by its admirers, and the Priest and the Levite, though 
they have joined to anathematise it, have not, when they came in its way, 
' passed by on the other side.' 

" But little progress is made in the history and adventures of the hero in 
these three additional cantos. The fact is, however, that nothing has ap- 
peared, from the beginning, to be farther from the author's intention, than 
to render his Don Juan any thing like a regular narrative. On the con- 
trary, its general appearance tends strongly to remind us of the learned 
philosopher's treatise — ' De rebus omnibus et quibusdam aliis.' And here 
we cannot avoid remarking, what an admirable method those persons must 
possess of reconciling contradictions, who, in the same breath, censure the 
poem for its want of plan, and impeach the writer of a deliberate design 
against the religion and government of the country. His lordship has him- 
self given^what appears to us a very candid exposition of his motives — 

' the fact is, that I have nothing plann'd. 

Unless it were to be a moment merry, 
A novel word in my vocabulary.' 

Indeed, the whole poem has completely the appearance of being produced 
in those intervals in which an active and powerful mind, habitually engaged 
in literary occupation, relaxes from its more serious labours, and amuses 
itself with comparative trifling. Hence the narrative is interrupted 
by continual digressions, and the general character of the language is that 
of irony and sarcastic humour ; — an apparent levity, which, however, often 
serves but as a veil to deep reflection. Nor can the talent of the master- 
hand be always concealed : it involuntarily betrays itself in the touches of 
the pathetic and sublime which frequently present themselves in the course 
of the poem ; in the thoughts ' too big for utterance, and too deep £ot 
tears,' which are interspersed in various parts of it"— Campbell.] 




Nothing so difficult as a beginning 

In poesy, unless perhaps the end ; 
For oftentimes when Pegasus seems winning 

The race, he sprains a wing, and down we tend, 
Like Lucifer when hurl'd from heaven for sinning ; 

Our sin the same, and hard as his to mend, 
Being pride, (') which leads the mind to soar too far. 
Till our own weakness shows us what we are. (2) 

But Time, which brings all beings to their level, 

And sharp Adversity, will teach at last 
Man, — and, as we would hope, — perhaps the devil, 

That neither of their intellects are vast : 

[— " how gloi iou8 once above thy sphere, 
Till Pride and worse Ambition threw me down, 
Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless King." 

Paradise Lost.'} 

(?) C " the same sin that overthrew the angels. 

And of all sina most easily besets 
Mortals the nearest to the angelic nature : 
The vile are only vain ; the great are proud." 

Marino Faliero.'} 
B 3 


While youth's hot wishes in our red veins revel, 

We know not this — the blood flows on too fast; 
But as the torrent widens towards the ocean, 
We ponder deeply on each past emotion, (i) 

As boy, I thought myself a clever fellow, 

And wish'd that others held the same opinion ; 
They took it up when my days grew more mellow, 

And other minds acknowledged my dominion : 
Now my sere fancy " falls into the yellow 

Leaf," (2) and Imagination droops her pinion, 
And the sad truth which hovers o'er my desk 
Turns what was once romantic to burlesque. 


And if I laugh at any mortal thing, 

'Tis that I may not weep ; and if I weep, 

'Tis that our nature cannot always bring 
Itself to apath}^ for we must steep 

(1) [" Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy. 

And shuts up all the passages of joy : 
In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour. 
The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flow'r ; 
With listless eyes the dotard views the store. 
He yiews, and wonders that they please no more." 

Johnson's Vanity of Human Wishes. 
" ' T is a grand poem— and so true ! — true as the 10th of Juvenal him- 
self. The lapse of ages changes all things — time — language — the earth 
— the bounds of the sea — the stars of the sky, and every thing ' about, 
around, and underneath ' man, except man himself, who has always been, 
and always will be, an unlucky rascal The infinite variety of lives con- 
duct but to death, and the infinity of wishes lead but to disappointment" — 
JB. Diary, 1821.] 

(2) [ " my May of life 

Is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf." — Macheth.l 


Our hearts first in the depths of Lethe's spring, 
Ere what we least wish to behold will sleep : 
Thetis baptized her mortal son in Styx;(i) 
A mortal mother would on Lethe fix. (2) 


Some have accused me of a strange design 
Against the creed and morals of the land,(^) 

And trace it in this poem every line : 
I don't pretend that I quite understand 

My own meaning when I would be very fine ; 
But the fact is that I have nothing plann'd. 

Unless it were to be a moment merry, 

A novel word in my vocabulary. 

(1) [Achilles is said to have been dipped by his mother in the river Styx, 
to render him invulnerable.] 

(2) n " a slow and silent stream, 

Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls 

Her watery labyrinth, whereof who drinks 
Forthwith his former state and being forgets. 
Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain." 

Paradise Lost, b. vi.] 

(3) t" Lord Byron is the very Comus of poetry, who, by the bewitching 
airiness of his numbers, aims to turn the moral world into a herd of 
monsters." — Watkins. 

" Deep as Byron has dipped his pen into vice, he has dipped it still 

'deeper into immorality. Alas! he shines only to mislead — he flashes 

only to destroy." — CoLTON. 

" In Don Juan he is highly profane ; but, in that poem, the profaneness 

in keeping with all the other qualities, and religion comes in for a sneer, 

a burlesque, only in common with every thing that is dear and valuable 

to us as moral and social beings." — Eel. Rev. 

" Dost thou aspire, like a Satanic mind, 
With vice to waste and desolate mankind ? 
Toward every rude and dark and dismal deed 
To sec them hurrying on with swifter speed ? 
To make them, from restraint and conscience free. 
Bad u tbytdf, or worse— if such can be ? " — CoTrL£.3 

B 4* 



To the kind reader of our sober clime 
This way of writing will appear exotic ; 

Pulci was sire of the half-serious rhyme, (^) 
Who sang when chivalry was more Quixotic, 

And revell'd in the fancies of the time, [despotic ; 
True knights, chaste dames, huge giants, kings 

But all these, save the last, being obsolete, 

I chose a modern subject as more meet. 


How I have treated it, I do not know ; 

Perhaps no better than they have treated me 
Who have imputed such designs as show 

Not what they saw, but what they wish'd to see : 
But if it gives them pleasure, be it so ; 

This is a liberal age, and thoughts are free : 
Meantime Apollo plucks me by the ear, 
And tells me to resume my story here. (2) 


Young Juan and his lady-love were left 
To their own hearts' most sweet society ; 

Even Time the pitiless in sorrow cleft 

With his rude scythe such gentle bosoms ; he 

Sigh'd to behold them of their hours bereft 
Though foe to love ; and yet they could not be 

Meant to grow old, but die in happy spring, 

Before one charm or hope had taken wing. 

(1) [See anth. Vol XI. p. 187.] 

(2) [" Cum canerem reges et praelia, Cynthius aurem 

Vellit, et admonuit" — Virg. Eel. vL] 




Their faces were not made for wrinkles, their 
Pure blood to stagnate, their great hearts to fail ; 

The blank grey was not made to blast their hair. 
But like the climes that know nor snow nor hail 

They were all summer : lightning might assail 
And shiver them to ashes, but to trail 

A long and snake-like life of dull decay 

Was not for them — they had too little clay. 


They were alone once more ; for them to be 
Thus was another Eden ; they were never 

Weary, unless when separate : the tree 

Cut from its forest root of years — the river 

Damm'd from its fountain — the child from the knee 
And breast maternal wean'd at once for ever, — 

Would wither less than these two torn apart ;(i) 

Alas ! there is no instinct like the heart — 


The heart — which may be broken : happy they I 
Thrice fortunate ! who of that fragile mould. 

The precious porcelain of human clay. 

Break with the first fall : they can ne'er behold 

The long year link'd with heavy day on day, 
And all which must be borne, and never told ; 

While life's strange principle will often lie 

Deepest in those who long the most to die. 

(1) [MS.— " fVom its mother's knee 

When its last weaning draught is drain'd for ever,* 
The child divided — it were less to see, 
Than these two from each other torn apart "J 



" Whom the gods love die young," was said of 

And many deaths do they escape by this : 
The death of friends, and that which slays even 
more — 

The death of friendship, love, youth, all that is. 
Except mere breath; and since the silent shore 

Awaits at last even those who longest miss 
The old archer's shafts, perhaps the early grave 
Which men weep over may be meant to save. (2) 


Haidee and Juan thought not of the dead, [them : 
The heavens, and earth, and air, seem'd made for 

They found no fault with Time, save that he fled ; 
They saw not in themselves aught to condemn : 

Each was the other's mirror, and but read 
Joy sparkling in their dark eyes like a gem, 

And knew such brightness was but the reflection 

Of their exchanging glances of atfection. 


The gentle pressure, and the thrilling touch. 
The least glance better understood than words, 

Which still said all, and ne'er could say too much ; 
A language, too, but like to that of birds, 

Known but to them, at least appearing such 
As but to lovers a true sense affords ; 

Sweet playful phrases, which would seem absurd 

To those who have ceased to hear such,orne'er heard: 

(1) See Herodotus. 

(2) I" The less of this cold wqrld, the more of Heaven." — ManAN.] 



All these were theirs, for they were children still, 
And children still they should have ever been ; 

They were not made in the real world to fill 
A busy character in the dull scene. 

But like two beings born from out a rill, 
A nymph and her beloved, all unseen 

To pass their lives in fountains and on flowers, 

And never know the weight of human hours. 


Moons changing had roU'd on, and changeless found 
Those their bright rise had lighted to such joys 

As rarely they beheld throughout their round ; 
And these were not of the vain kind which cloys. 

For theirs were buoyant spirits, never bound 

By the mere senses ; and that which destroys (J) 

Most love, possession, unto them appear'd 

A thing which each endearment more endear'd. 


Oh beautiful I and rare as beautiful ! 

But theirs was love in which the mind delights 
To lose itself, when the old world grows dull. 

And we are sick of its hack sounds and sights. 
Intrigues, adventures of the common school. 

Its petty passions, marriages, and flights, 
Where Hymen's torch but brands one strumpet more, 
Whose husband only knows her not a wh — re. 

(1) [M& — " Forthein were buoyant gpirits, which would bound 
'Gainst common failings," &c.3 



Hard words ; harsh truth ; a truth which many know. 

Enough. — The faithful and the fairy pair, 
Who never found a single hour too slow, 

What was it made them thus exempt from care ? 
Young innate feelings all have felt below, 

Which perish in the rest, but in them were 
Inherent ; what we mortals call romantic. 
And always envy, though we deem it frantic. 


This is in others a factitious state. 

An opium dream (i) of too much youth and reading. 
But was in them their nature or their fate : 

No novels e'er had set their young hearts bleeding, 
For Haidee's knowledge' was by no means great, 

And Juan was a boy of saintly breeding ; 
So that there was no reason for their loves 
More than for those of nightingales or doves. 


They gazed upon the sunset ; 'tis an hour 
Dear unto all, but dearest to their eyes, 

For it had made them what they were : the power 
Of love had first o'erwhelm'd them from such 

When happiness had been their only dower, 
And twilight saw them link'd in passion's ties ; 

Charm'd with each other, all things charm'd that 

The past still welcome as the present thought. 

(1) [The celebrated " Confessions of an English Opium Eater," by Mr. De 
Quincey, had been published shortly before this Canto was written. — E.3 



I know not why, but in that hour to-night, 
Even as they gazed, a sudden tremor came, 

And swept, as 'twere, across their heart's delight, 
Like the wind o'er a harp-string, or a flame, 

When one is shook in sound, and one in sight ; 
And thus some boding flash'd through either frame. 

And call'd from Juan's breast a faint low sigh, 

While one new tear arose in Haidee's eye. 


That large black prophet eye seem'd to dilate 

And follow far the disappearing sun, 
As if their last day of a happy date [gone ; 

With his broad, bright, and dropping orb were 
Juan gazed on her as to ask his fate — 

He felt a grief, but knowing cause for none, 
His glance enquired of hers for some excuse 
For feelings causeless, or at least abstruse. 

She turn'd to him, and smiled, but in that sort 

Which makes not others smile ;(^) then turn'd aside: 
Whatever feeling shook her, it seem'd short, 

And master'd by her wisdom or her pride ; 
When Juan spoke, too — it might be in sport — 

Of this their mutual feeling, she replied — 
" If it should be so, — but — it cannot be — 
Or I at least shall not survive to see." 

(1) [** Seldom he smile* ; and imiles in such a sort, 

As if he mock'd himself, and scorn'd his spirit. 

That could be mored to smile at any thing." — Shakspkark.3 



Juan would question further, but she press'd 
His lip to hers, and silenced him with this. 

And then dismiss'd the omen from her breast, 
Defying augury with that fond kiss ; 

And no doubt of all methods 'tis the best: 
Some people prefer M'ine — 'tis not amiss; 

I have tried both ;(i) so those who would a part take 

May choose between the headache and the heartache. 


One of the two, according to your choice. 
Woman or wine, you'll have to undergo; 

Both maladies are taxes on our joys : 

But which to choose, I really hardly know ; 

And if I had to give a casting voice. 

For both sides I could many reasons show, 

And then decide, without great wrong to either. 

It were much better to have both than neither. 


Juan and Haidee gazed upon each other 

With swimming looks of speechless tenderness, 

Which mix'd all feelings, friend, child, lover, brother, 
All that the best can mingle and express 

(1) j^" The effect of all wines and spirits upon me is strange. It settles, 
but it makes me gloomy — gloomy at the very moment of their effect, and 
not gay hardly ever. But it composes for a time, though sullenly. Swim- 
ming raises my spirits,— but in general they are low, and get daily lower. 
That is hopeless ; for I do not think I am so much ennuyd as I was at 
nineteen." — ^. Biary, 1821.] 


When two pure hearts are pour'd in one another, 
And love too much, and yet can not love less ; 
But almost sanctify the sweet excess 
By the immortal wish and power to bless, (i) 


Mix'd in each other's arms, and heart in heart, 
Why did they not then die ? — they had lived too 

Should an hour come to bid them breathe apart ; 
Years could but bring them cruel things or wrong; 

The world was not for them, nor the world's art 
For beings passionate as Sappho's song; 

Love was born unth them, in them, so intense, 

It was their very spirit — not a sense. 


They should have lived together deep in woods, 
Unseen as sings the nightingale ;(-) they were 

Unfit to mix in these thick solitudes 

Call'd social, haunts of Hate, and Vice, and 
Care: (3) 

(1) [" Learn by a mortal yearning to ascend 

Towards a higher object. Love was given. 
Encouraged, sanction'd, chiefly for that end ; 

For this the passion to excess was driven — 
That self might be annull'd — her bondage prove 
The fetters of a dream, opposed to love." — 

Wordsworth'4 Laodamta.2 

(2) [" The shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, 

1 better brook than flourishing peopled towna : 
There can I sit alone, unseen of any. 
And to the nightingale's complaining notes 
Tune my distresses, and record my woes."—- Shakspearb.3 
W tMflL — " Call'd social, where all vice and hatred are."] 


How lonely every freeborn creature broods I 
The sweetest song-birds nestle in a pair ; 
The eagle soars alone ; the gull and crow 
Flock o'er their carrion, just like men below. 


Now pillow'd cheek to cheek, in loving sleep, 

Haidee and Juan their siesta took, 
A gentle slumber, but it was not deep, 

For ever and anon a something shook 
Juan, and shuddering o'er his frame would creep; 

And Haidee's sweet lips murmur'd like a brook 
A wordless music, and her face so fair 
Stirr'd with her dream, as rose-leaves with the air ; (') 


Or as the stirring of a deep clear stream 
Within an Alpine hollow, when the wind 

Walks o'er it, was she shaken by the dream, 
The mystical usurper of the mind — (2) 

(1) [In one of Wilson's minor poems, " On the Death of a Child" (1812), 
occurs this beautiful image : — 

..." All her innocent thoughts. 
Like rose-leaves scatter'd." — E.] 

(2) [" "We are somewhat more than ourselves in our sleeps, and the 
slumber of the body seems to be but the waking of the soul. It is the 
ligation of sense, but the liberty of reason ; and our waking conceptions 
do not match the fancies of our sleeps. At my nativity my ascendant was 
the watery sign of Scorpius ; I was born in the planetary hour of Saturn, 
and I think I have a piece of that leaden planet in me. I am no way 
facetious, nor disposed for the mirth and galliardise of company ; yet in 
one dream I can compose a whole comedy, behold the action, apprehend 
the jests, and laugh myself awake at the conceits thereof. Were my 
memory as faithful as my reason is then fruitful, I would never study but 
in my dreams ; and this time also would I choose for my devotions ; but 
our grosser memories have then so little hold of our abstracted under- 
standings, that they forget the story, and can only relate to our awakened 
souls a confused and broken tale of that that has passed." — Sir Tho.mas 


O'erpowering us to be whate'er may seem 

Good to the soul which we no more can bind ; 
Strange state of being ! (for 't is still to be) 
Senseless to feel, and with seal'd eyes to see.(^) 


She dream'd of being alone on the sea-shore, (2) 
Chain'd to a rock ; she knew not how, but stir 

She could not from the spot, and the loud roar 
Grew, and each wave rose roughly, threatening her ; 

(1) [MS — " strange state of being ! — for 't is still to be — 

And who can know all false what then we see ? "J 

(2) [" One of the finest moral tales I ever read, is an account of a dream 
in the Tatler, which, though it has every appearance of a real dream, com- 
prehends a n oral so sublime and so interesting, that I question whether 
»ny man who attends to it can ever forget it ; and, if he remembers, whe- 
ther he can ever cease to be the better for it Addison is the author of the 
paper ; and 1 shall give the story in his own elegant words : — • I was once 
in agonies of grief that are unutterable, and in so great a distraction of 
mind, that I thought myself even out of the possibility of receiving com- 
fort The occasion was as follows : — When I was a youth, in a part of the 
army which was then quartered at Dover, I fell in love with an agreeable 
young woman of a good family in those parts, and had the satisfaction of 
Mcing my addresses kindly received, which occasioned the perplexity I am 
going to relate. We were, in a calm evening, diverting ourselves, on the 
top of a cliff, with the prospect of the sea ; and trifling away the time in 
•uch little fondnesses, as are most ridiculous to people in business, and 
BMMt agreeable to those in love. In the midst of these our innocent en- 
dsanacnts, the snatched a paper of verses out of my hand, and ran away 
with them. 1 was following her; when on a sudden the ground, though 
at a considerable distance from the verge of the precipice, sunk under her, 
and threw her down from so prodigious a height, upon such a range of 
focki, as would have dashed her into ten thousand pieces, had her body 
been made of adamant It is much easier for my reader to imagine my 
•tate of mind upon such an occasion, than for mc to express it I said to 
myself, it is not in the power of Heaven to relieve me — when I awaked, 
equally transported and astonished, to see myself drawn out of an affliction, 
which, the very HMNDCnt before, appeared to be altogether inextricable.' 
— What fabia of JEtop, nay of Homer, or of Virgil, conveys so fine a 
moral ? Yet moat people have, if I misUke not, met with such deliver. 



And o'er her upper lip they seem'd to pour, 

Until she sobb'd for breath, and soon they were 
Foaming o'er her lone head, so fierce and high — 
Each broke to drown her, yet she could not die. 


Anon — she was released, and then she stray'd(') 
O'er the sharp shingles with her bleeding feet, 

And stumbled almost every step she made ; 
And something roU'd before her in a sheet. 

Which she must still pursue howe'er afraid : 
'Twas white and indistinct, nor stopp'd to meet 

Her glance nor grasp, for still she gazed and grasp'd, 

And ran, but it escaped her as she clasp'd. 


The dream changed: — in a cave she stood, its walls 
Were hung with marble icicles ; the work 

Of ages on its water-fretted halls, [and lurk; 

Where waves might wash, and seals might breed 

Her hair was dripping, and the very balls 

Of her black eyes seem'd turn'd to tears, and mirk 

The sharp rocks look'd below each drop they caught, 

Which froze to marble as it fell, — she thought. 

ances by means of a dream. Let us not despise instruction, how mean 
soever the vehicle may be that brings it. Even if it be a dream, let us 
learn to profit by it For, whether asleep or awake, we are equally the 
care of Providence ; and neither a dream, nor a waking thought, can 
occur to us without the permission of Him in whom we live, and move, 
and have our being." — Dr. Beattie.] 

(1) [MS. — " Anon — there were no waters — but she stray'd 
O'er the sharp shingles," &cj 



And wet, and cold, and lifeless at her feet, 

Pale as the foam that froth'd on his dead brow, 

Which she essay'd in vain to clear, (how sweet 
Were once her cares, how idle seem'd they now !) 

Lay Juan, nor could aught renew the beat 

Of his quench'd heart ; and the sea dirges low 

Rang in her sad ears like a mermaid's song. 

And that brief dream (•) appear'd a life too long. (2) 


And gazing on the dead, she thought his face 
Faded, or alter'd into something new — 

Like to her father's features, till each trace 
More like and like to Lambro's aspect grew — 

With all his keen worn look and Grecian grace ; 
And starting, she awoke, and what to view ? 

Oh ! Powers of Heaven ! what dark eye meets she 
there ? 

'Tis — 'tis her father's — fix'd upon the pair! 

(1) [MSu — " And that short dream contain'd a life too long."] 

(2) [" I awoke from a dream — well! and have not others dreamed ? — 
Such a dream ! — but she did not overtake me. I wish the dead would 
re«t, however. Ugh ! how my blood chilled — and I could not wakie — and 
_ and — heigho ! 

* Shadows to night 
Have struck more terror in the soul of Richard, 
Than could the substance of ten thousand, 
AnnM all in proof,* &c. ftc. 
I do not like this dream, — I hate its ' foregone conclusion.* And am I to 
be shaken by thadowi t Ay, when they remind me of— no matter — but, 
if 1 dream thus again, I will try whether all sleep has the like visions. 
Since I rose, I've been in considerable bodily pain also; but it is gone 
and over, and now, tike Lord Ogleby, I am wound up for the day." — J?. 
Journal, 1811] 

c 2 




Then shrieking, she arose, and shrieking fell, 
With joy and sorrow, hope and fear, to see 

Him whom she deem'd a habitant where dwell 
The ocean-buried, risen from death, to be 

Perchance the death of one she loved too well : 
Dear as her father had been to Haidee, 

It was a moment of that awful kind 

I have seen such — but must not call to mind.(i) 


Up Juan sprung to Haidee's bitter shriek, 
And caught her falling, and from off the wall 

Snatch'd down his sabre, in hot haste to wreak 
Vengeance on him who was the cause of all : 

Then Lambro, who till now forbore to speak. 
Smiled scornfully, and said, " Within my call, 

A thousand scimitars await the word ; ('-) 

Put up, young man, put up your silly sword." 


And Haidee clung around him; " Juan, 'tis — 
'Tis Lambro — 'tis my father I Kneel with me- 

He will forgive us — yes — it must be — yes. 
Oh ! dearest father, in this agony 

Of pleasure and of pain — even while I kiss 
Thy garment's hem with transport, can it be 

That doubt should mingle with my filial joy ? 

Deal with me as thou wilt, but spare this boy." 

(1) CMS. — "I have seen such — but they o'erthrew my mind."] 

(2) [MS. — "A thousand sharper sabres wait the word."] 



High and inscrutable the old man stood, 

Calm in his voice, and calm within his eye — 

Not always signs with him of calmest mood : 
He look'd upon her, but gave no reply ; 

Then turn'd to Juan, in whose cheek the blood 
Oft came and went, as there resolved to die ; 

In arms, at least, he stood, in act to spring 

On the first foe whom Lambro's call might bring. 


" Young man, your sword;" so Lambro once more 

Juan replied, " Not while this arm is free." 
The old man's cheek grew pale, but not with dread, 

And drawing from his belt a pistol, he 
Replied, " Your blood be then on your own head," 

Then look'd close at the flint, as if to see 
'Twas fresh — for he had lately used the lock — 
And next proceeded quietly to cock. 


It has a strange quick jar upon the ear, 
That cocking of a pistol, when you know 

A moment more will bring the sight to bear 
Upon your person, twelve yards off, or so ; 

A gentlemanly distance, not too near. 
If you have got a former friend for foe ; 

But after being fired at once or twice, 

The ear becomes more Irish, and less nice. 

c 3 




Lambro presented, and one instant more 

Had stopp'd this Canto, and Don Juan's breath, 

When Haidee threw herself her boy before ; 

Stern as her sire : " On me," she cried, " let death 

Descend — the fault is mine ; this fatal shore 

He found — but sought not, I have pledged my 

I love him — I will die with him : I knew [faith ; 

Your nature's firmness — know your daughter's too." 

A minute past, and she had been all tears, (^) 

And tenderness, and infancy ; but now 
She stood as one who champion'd human fears — 

Pale, statue-like, and stern, she woo'd the blow ; 
And tall beyond her sex, and their compeers, 

She drew up to her height, as if to show 
A fairer mark ; and with a fix'd eye scann'd 
Her father's face — but never stopp'd his hand. 


He gazed on her, and she on him ; 't was strange 
How like they look'd ! the expression was the 

Serenely savage, with a little change [same ; 

In the large dark eye's mutual-darted flame ; 

For she, too, was as one who could avenge, 
If cause should be — a lioness, though tame, 

Her father's blood before her father's face 

Boil'd up, and proved her truly of his race. 

(1) [MS. — " But a few moments — she had been all tears."] 



I said they were alike, their features and 

Their stature, differing but in sex and years ; 

Even to the delicacy of their hand(') 

There was resemblance, such as true blood wears ; 

And now to see them, thus divided, stand 
In fix'd ferocity, when joyous tears. 

And sweet sensations, should have welcomed both, 

Show what the passions are in their full growth. 


The father ^paused a moment, then withdrew 
His weapon, and replaced it ; but stood still. 

And looking on her, as to look her through, [ill; 
" Not /," he said, " have sought this stranger's 

Not / have made this desolation : few 

Would bear such outrage, and forbear to kill ; 

But I must do my duty — how thou hast 

Done thine, the present vouches for the past. (2) 


" Let him disarm ; or, by my father's head, 
His own shall roll before you like a ball !" 

He raised his whistle, as the word he said, 
And blew, another answer'd to the call, 

(1) [The reader will observe a curious mark of propinquity which the 
poet notices, with respect to the hands of the father and daughter. Lord 
Byron, we tuspcct, is indebted for the first hint of this to AH Pacha, who, 
by the bye, ii the original of I^mbro ; for, when his lordship was intro. 
duced, with bis friend Hobhousc, to that agreeablcmannered tyrant, the 
▼ixier said that he knew he was the Megalos Anthropos (i. e. the Great 
Man), by the tmallnets of his ears and hands. — Galt.] 

\S^ [MS. — ** And if / did my duty as thou hast. 

This hour were thine, and thy young minion't laifj 

c 4j 



And rushing in disorderly, though led, 

And arm'd from boot to turban, one and all, 
Some twenty of his train came, rank on rank ; 
He gave the word, — " Arrest or slay the Frank. 


Then, with a sudden movement, he withdrew 

His daughter ; while compress'd within his clasp, 

'Twixt her and Juan interposed the crew; 
In vain she struggled in her father's grasp — 

His arms were like a serpent's coil: then flew(i) 
Upon their prey, as darts an angry asp. 

The file of pirates ; save the foremost, who 

Had fallen, with his right shoulder half cut through. (2) 

The second had his cheek laid open ; but 
The third, a wary, cool old sworder, took 

The blows upon his cutlass, and then put 
His own well in ; so well, ere you could look. 

His man was floor'd, and helpless at his foot, (•^) 
With the blood running like a little brook 

From two smart sabre gashes, deep and red — 

One on the arm, the other on the head. 

(1) [MS. — " He held her like a serpent's folds : then flew 

Upon her prey," &c.] 

(2) [MS. — " Received a sabre cut, his turban through."] 

(3) [MS. — " His man was prostrate, bleeding at his foot 

"With blood running," &c.] 




And then they bound him where he fell, and bore 
Juan from the apartment : with a sign 

Old Lambro bade them take him to the shore, 
^\^lere lay some ships which were to sail at nine. (^) 

They laid him in a boat, and plied the oar 

Until they reach'd some galliots, placed in line ; 

On board of one of these, and under hatches. 

They stow'd him, with strict orders to the watches. 


The world is full of strange vicissitudes, 
And here was one exceedingly unpleasant : 

A gentleman so rich in the world's goods. 

Handsome and young, enjoying all the present, 

Just at the very time when he least broods 
On such a thing is suddenly to sea sent. 

Wounded and chain'd, so that he cannot move, 

And all because a lady fell in love. 


Here I must leave him, for I grow pathetic, 

Moved by the Chinese nymph of tears, green tea ! 

Than whom Cassandra was not more prophetic ; 
For if my pure libations exceed three, 

I feci my heart become so sympathetic. 
That I must have recourse to black Bohea : 

'Tis pity wine should be so deleterious, 

For tea and coffee leave us much more serious, 

(1) EMS. — " Till further orders ahould bis doom assign."] 



Unless when qualified with thee, Cogniac ! 

Sweet Naiad of the Phlegethontic rill ! 
Ah ! why the liver wilt thou thus attack, (i) 

And make, like other nymphs, thy lovers ill ? (2) 
I would take refuge in weak punch, but rack 

(In each sense of the word), when'er I fill 
My mild and midnight beakers to the brim. 
Wakes me next morning with its synonym. 


I leave Don Juan for the present, safe — 

Not sound, poor fellow, but severely wounded ; 

Yet could his corporal pangs amount to half 

Of those with which his Haidee's bosom bounded ! 

She was not one to weep, and rave, and chafe, 
And then give way, subdued because surrounded ; 

Her mother was a Moorish maid, from Fez, 

Where all is Eden, or a wilderness. 

(1) [MS. — " But thou, sweet fury of the fiery rill ! 

Makest on the liver a still worse attack ; 
Besides, thy price is something dearer still."] 

(2) [" I have been considering what can be the reason why I always 
wake at a certain hour in the morning, and always in very bad spirits — I 
may say, in actual despair and despondency, in all respects, even of that 
which pleased me over night. In about an hour or two this goes off, and 
I compose either to sleep again, or, at least, to quiet In England, five 
years ago, I had the same kind of hyjwchondria, but accompanied with 
80 violent a thirst, that I have drunk as many as thirteen bottles of soda, 
water in one night, after going to bed, and been still thirsty. At present I 
have not the thirst, but the depression of spirits is no less violent What 
is it ? — liver ? I suppose that it is all hypochondria." — B. Diary, 1821.] 



There the large olive rains its amber store 

In marble fonts ; there grain, and flower, and fruit, 

Gush from the earth until the land runs o'er;(i) 
But there, too, many a poison-tree has root. 

And midnight listens to the lion's roar. 

And long, long deserts scorch the camel's foot, 

Or heaving whelm the helpless caravan ; 

And as the soil is, so the heart of man. 


Afric is all the sun's, and as her earth 

Her human clay is kindled ; full of power 

For good or evil, burning from its birth. 

The Moorish blood partakes the planet's hour, 

And like the soil beneath it will bring forth : 
Beauty and love were Haidee's mother's dower ; 

But her large dark eye show'd deep Passion's force, 

Though sleeping like a lion near a source. (2) 

(1) C" At Fez, the houses of the great and wealthy have, withinside, 
spacious courts, adorned with sumptuous galleries, founts of the finest 
marble, and fikh.ponds, shaded with orange, lemon, pomegranate, and fig 
treet/abounding with fruit, and ornamented with roses, hyacinths, jasmine, 
violcu, and other odoriferous flowers, emitting a delectable fragrance; so 
that it is justly called a paradise." — Jackson'* Morocco.'} 

(2) [MS. — " Beauty and passion were the natural dower 

Of Haidee's mother, but her climate's force 
Lay at her heart, though sleeping at the source." 



" But in her large eye lay deep passion's force. 
Like to a lion sleei)ing by a source." 

" But in her large eye lay deep passion's force, 
A* skefw a lion by a river's source. "J 



Her daughter, temper'd with a milder ray, 

Like summer clouds all silvery, smooth, and fair, 

Till slowly charged with thunder they display 
Terror to earth, and tempest to the air. 

Had held till now her soft and milky way ; 
But overwrought with passion and despair, 

The fire burst forth from her Numidian veins. 

Even as the Simoom Q) sweeps the blasted plains. 


The last sight which she saw was Juan's gore, 
And he himself o'ermaster'd and cut down ; 

His blood was running on the very floor 

Where late he trod, her beautiful, her own ; 

Thus much she view'd an instant and no more, — 
Her struggles ceased with one convulsive groan ; 

On her sire's arm, which until now scarce held 

Her writhing, fell she like a cedar fell'd. 


A vein had burst, and her sweet lips' pure dyes (2) 
Were dabbled with the deep blood which ran o'er ;(3) 

And her head droop'd as when the lily lies [bore 
O'ercharged with rain : her summon'd handmaids 

(1) [The sufTocating blast of the Desert. See ante. Vol. IX. p. 159.] 

(2) [MS. — " The blood gush'd from her lips, and ears, and eyes : 

Those eyes, so beautiful — beheld no more."] 

(3) This is no very uncommon effect of the violence of conflicting and 
different passions. The Doge Francis Foscari, on his deposition in 1457, 
hearing the bells of St Mark announce the election of his successor, 
" mourut subitement d'une ht'morragie causee par une veine qui seclata 
dans sa poitrine," (see Sismondi and Daru, vols. i. and ii. : see also anti. 


Their lady to her couch with gushing eyes ; 

Of herbs and cordials they produced their store, 
But she defied all means they could employ, 
Like one life could not hold, nor death destroy. 


Days lay she in that state unchanged, though chill — 
With nothing livid, still her lips were red ; 

She had no pulse, but death seem'd absent still ; 
No hideous sign proclaim'd her surely dead ; 

Corruption came not in each mind to kill 
All hope ; to look upon her sweet face bred 

New thoughts of life, for it seem'd full of soul — 

She had so much, earth could not claim the whole. 


The ruling passion, such as marble shows 
When exquisitely chisell'd, still lay there. 

But fix'd as marble's unchanged aspect throws 
O'er the fair Venus, but for ever fair;(i) 

\'ol. XII. p. 211.) at the age of eighty years, when " Who would have 
''ught the old man had so much blood in him ?" Before I was sixteen 
>tar» of age, I was witness to a melancholy instance of the same effect of 
mixed paftfiont upon a young person, who, however, did not die in conse- 
quence, at that time, but fell a victim some years afterwards to a seizure of 
r he uktat kind, arising from causes intimately connected with agitation of 

(1) [See amti. Vol. VIII. pp. 213. 295. The view of the Venus of MedicU 
inttanUy suggests the lines in the " Seasons,"— 

■ '* With wild surprise. 

As If to marble struck, devoid of sense, 
A stupid moment motionless she stood : 
SosUnds the sUtue that enchants the world." — HoBiioUiiE.] 


O'er the Laocoon's all eternal throes, (^) 

And ever-dying Gladiator's air, (2) 
Their energy like life forms all their fame. 
Yet looks not life, for they are still the same.(^) 

(1) C " illi agminecerto, 

Laocoonta petunt ; et primum parva duorum 
Corpora natorum serpens amplexus, uterque 
Implicat," &c. — ViRG. J?n. 1. ii. 

" their destin'd way they take. 

And to Laocoon and his children make : 

And first around the tender boys they wind, 

Then with their sharpen'd fangs their limbs and bodies grind. 

The wretched father, running to their aid 

With pious haste, but vain, they next invade : 

Twice round his waist their winding volumes roU'd, 

And twice about his gasping throat they fold. 

With both his hands he labours at the knots. 

His holy fillets the blue venom blots," &c. — Dryden. * 

(2) [See anti. Vol. VIII. p. 'J49.] 

(3) [MS. — " Distinct from life, as being still the same. "J 

• [" The sublime mark of a great soul shines forth, in all its beauty, 
through those affecting expressions of pain and anguish that appear in the 
countenance of the famous Laocoon, and diffuse their horrors through his 
convulsed members. The bitterness of his torment seems to be imprinted 
on each muscle, and to swell every nerve; and it is expressed with pecu- 
liar energy, by the contraction of the abdomen and all the lower parts of 
his body : this expression is so lively, that the attentive spectator partakes, 
in some measure, of the anguish it represents. The sufferings of the body 
and the elevation of the soul are expressed in every member with equal 
energy, and form the most sublime contrast imaginable. Laocoon suffers 
it, but he suffers like the Philoctetes of Sophocles ; his lamentable situation 
pierces the heart, but fills us, at the same time, with an ambitious desire of 
being able to imitate his constancy and magnanimity in the pains and suf- 
ferings that may fall to our lot." — Winkelmanx. 

" In the group of the Laocoon, the frigid ecstasies of German criticism 
have discovered pity like a vapour swimming on the father's eyes ; he is 
seen to suppress in the groan for his children the shriek for himself — his 
nostrils are drawn upward, to express indignation at unworthy sufferings, 
whilst he is said at the same time to implore celestial help. To these are 
added the winged effects of the serpent-poison, the writhings of the body. 



She woke at length, but not as sleepers wake, 
Rather the dead, for life seem'd something new, 

A strange sensation which she must partake 
Perforce, since whatsoever met her view 

Struck not on memory, though a heavy ache 
Lay at her heart, whose earliest beat still true 

Brought back the sense of pain without the cause, 

For, for a while, the furies made a pause. 


She look'd on many a face with vacant eye. 
On many a token without knowing what ; 

She saw them watch her without asking why, (^) 
And reck'd not who around her pillow sat ; 

Not speechless, though she spoke not ; not a sigh 
Reliev'd her thoughts ; dull silence and quick chat 

Were tried in vain by those who served ; she gave 

No sign, save breath, of having left the grave. 

(1) [MSl — " She took their medicines without asking why."] 

the fpamu of the extremities : to the miraculous organisation of such ex- 
pression, Agesander, the sculptor of theLaocoon, was too wise to lay claim. 
His figure is a class : it characterises every beauty of virility verging on 
age ; the prince, the priest, the father are visible, but, absorbed in the man, 
serve only to dignify the victim of one great expression ; though poised by 
the artist for us, to apply the compass to the face of the Laocoon is to 
measure the wave fluctuating in the storm : this tempestuous front, this 
contracted nose, the immersion of these eyes, and, above all, that long- 
drawn mouth, are, sef>aratc and united, seats of convulsion, features of 
nature, struggling within the jaws of death." ~ Fusell] 




Her handmaids tended, but she heeded not ; 

Her father watch 'd, she turn'd her eyes away ; 
She recognised no being, and no spot 

However dear or cherish'd in their day ; 
They changed from room to room, but all forgot, 

Gentle, but without memory she lay ; [ing 

At length those eyes, which they would fain be wean- 
Back to old thoughts, wax'd full of fearful meaning. 


And then a slave bethought her of a harp ;(^) 
The harper came, and tuned his instrument ; 

At the first notes, irregular and sharp. 
On him her flashing eyes a moment bent. 

Then to the wall she turn'd as if to warp 

Her thoughts from sorrow through her heart re- 

And he begun a long low island song [sent ; 

Of ancient days, ere tyranny grew strong. 


Anon her thin wan fingers beat the wall 

In time to his old tune ; he changed the theme. 

And sung of love ; the fierce name struck through all 
Her recollection ; on her flash'd the dream 

Of what she was, and is, if ye could call 
To be so being ; in a gushing stream 

The tears rush'd forth from her o'erclouded brain, 

Like mountain mists at length dissolved in rain. 

(1) [MS. — " At last some one bethought them of a harp. "J 

CAKloiv. DON JUAN. 3S' 


Short solace, vain relief! — thought came too quick, 
And whirl'd her brain to madness ; she arose 

As one who ne'er had dwelt among the sick, 
And flew at all she met, as on her foes ; 

But no one ever heard her speak or shriek. 

Although her paroxysm drew towards its close ; — 

Hers was a phrensy which disdain'd to rave, 

Even when they smote her, in the hope to save. 

Vet she betray 'd at times a gleam of sense ; 

Nothing could make her meet her father's face. 
Though on all other things with looks intense 

She gazed, but none she ever could retrace ; 
Food she refused, and raiment ; no pretence 

Avail'd for either ; neither change of place. 
Nor time, nor skill, nor remedy, could give her 
Senses to sleep — the power seem'd gone for ever. 


Twelve days and nights she wither'd thus ; at last, 
Without a groan, or sigh, or glance, to show 

A parting pang, the spirit from her past : 

And they who watch'd her nearest could not know 

The very instant, till the change that cast 
Her sweet face into shadow, dull and slow, 

Glazed o'er her eyes — the beautiful, the black — 

Oh ! to DossL'ss such lustre — and then lack !(') 

(i; I .\ini i.i. u ill: drew a dial from his poke, 

And looking on it with lack-lustre eye." — As you Like ItJ 

VOL. XVI. f D 



She died, but not alone ; she held within 
A second principle of life, which might 

Have dawn'd a fair and sinless child of sin;(i) 
But closed its little being without light, 

And went down to the grave unborn, wherein 
Blossom and bough lie wither 'd with one blight ; 

In vain the dews of Heaven descend above 

The bleeding flower and blasted fruit of love. 


Thus lived — thus died she ; never more on her 
Shall sorrow hght, or shame. She was not made 

Through years or moons the inner weight to bear, 
Which colder hearts endure till they are laid 

By age in earth : her days and pleasures were 
Brief, but delightful — such as had not staid 

Long with her destiny ; but she sleeps well (2) 

By the sea-shore, whereon she loved to dwell. (3) 

(1) tMS. — " Have dawn'd a child of beauty, though of sin, "3 

! (2) [ " Duncan is in his grave : 

After life's fitful fever he sleeps well" — Macbeth.^ 

(S) fWe think that few will withhold their sympathy from this affecting 
catastrophe, or refuse to drop a tear over the fate of the lovely and unfor. 
tunate Haidee, and to bid her 

" sleep well 
By the sea-shore, whereon she loved to dwell" 

Over this charming creature the poet has thrown a beauty and a fascination, 
which were never, we think, surpassed. In this, as in the former cantos, 
he pours out a singular mixture of pathos, doggrel, wit, and satire; taking 
a strange and almost malignant delight in dashing the laughter he has 
raised with tears, and crossing his finest and most affecting passages with 
burlesque ideas, against which no gravity is proof. — Campbell.^ 



That isle is now all desolate and bare, 

Its dwellings down, its tenants pass'd away ; 

None but her own and father's grave is there, 
And nothing outward tells of human clay ; 

Ye could not know where lies a thing so fair, 
No stone is there to show, no tongue to say 

What was ; no dirge, except the hollow sea's, (*) 

Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades. 


But many a Greek maid in a loving song 
Sighs o'er her name ; and many an islander 

With her sire's story makes the night less long ; 
Valour was his, and beauty dwelt with her : 

If she loved rashly, her life paid for wrong (2) — 
A heavy price must all pay who thus err, 

In some shape ; let none think to fly the danger, (•^) 

For soon or late Love is his own avenger. 

(1) [MSL — " No stone is there to read, nor tongue to say. 

No dirge — save when arise the stormy seas."] 

(2) [It will be advanced that her amours are objectionable, by some fas- 
tidious critic, 

** Who minces virtue, and doth shake the head 
To hear of pleasure's name." — 

If the lorea of Juan and Haidee are not pure and innocent, and dictated 
with sufficient delicacy and propriety, the tender passion may as well be 
»arnck at onee out of the list of the poet's themes. We must shut our eyes 
and bardan our hearts against the master. passion of our existence ; and, 
beooming mere creatures of hypocrisy and form, charge even Milton him- 
•df with folly. —CAMracLu] 

(3) [MSl — " They murt, and will, and none can fly the danger. 

For MOO or late Love," &c] 

D 2 



But let me change this theme, which grows too sad, 
And lay this sheet of sorrows on the shelf; 

I don't much like describing people mad, 
For fear of seeming rather touched myself — 

Besides, I've no more on this head to add; 
And as my Muse is a capricious elf, 

We'll put about, and try another tack 

With Juan, left half-kill'd some stanzas back. 


Wounded and fetter'd, " cabin'd, cribb'd,'confined,"(') 
Some days and nights elapsed before that he 

Could altogether call the past to mind ; 
And when he did, he found himself at sea, 

Sailing six knots an hour before the wind ; 
The shores of Ilion lay beneath their lee — 

Another time he might have liked to see 'em, 

But now was not much pleased with Cape Sigaeum.p) 

(1) I" But now I 'm cabin'd, cribb'd, confined, bound in 

To saucy doubts and fears." — ShakspeareJ 

(2) [We had a full view of Mount Ida, 

' Where' Juno once caress'd her amorous Jove, 
And the world's master lay subdued by love.' 
We anchored at Cape Janissary, the famous promontory of Sigjeum. 
My curiosity supplied me with strength to climb to the top of it, to see the 
place where Achilles was buried, and where Alexander ran naked round 
his tomb, in honour of him — which [no doubt was a great comfort to his 
ghost Farther downward we saw the promontory famed for the sepulchre 
of Ajax. While I reviewed these celebrated fields and rivers, I admired 
the exact geography of Homer, whom I had in my hand- Almast every 
epithet he gives to a mountain or plain is still just for it; and I spent 
several hours here in as agreeable cogitations as ever Don Quixote had 
on Mount Montesinos. — Lady M. W. Montagu.] 



There, on the green and village-cotted hill, is 
(Flank'd by the Hellespont, and by the sea) 

Entorab'd the bravest of the brave, Achilles ; 
They say so — (Bryant says the contrary): 

And further downward, tall and towering still, is(i) 
The tumulus — of whom? Heaven knows; 'tmay be 

Patroclus, Ajax, or Protesilaus;(-) 

All heroes, who if living still would slay us. 


High barrows, without marble, or a name, 
A vast, untill'd, and mountain-skirted plain. 

And Ida in the distance, still the same, 
And old Scamander, (if 'tis he) remain; 

(1) [Proceeding towards the east, and round the bay distinctly pointed 
out by Strabo, as the harbour in which the Grecian fleet was stationed, we 
arrived at the sepulchre of Ajax, upon the ancient Rhstian promontory. 
It is one of the most interesting objects to which the attention of the 
literary traveller can possibly be directed. In all that remains of former 
age«, 1 know of nothing likely to affect the mind by emotions of local 
cnthu«ia<m more powerfully than this most interesting tomb. It is im- 
{louible to view its sublime and simple form without calling to mind the 
Teoeration so long paid to it ; without picturing to the imagination a suc- 
ecMtve series of mariners, of kings and heroes, who, from the Hellespont, 
or by the shores of Troas and Chersonesus, or on the sepulchre itself, poured 
forth the tribute of their homage ; and, finally, without representing to the 
mind the feelings of a native, or of a traveller, in those times, who, after 
viewing the existing monument, and witnessing the instances of public and 
of private regard so constantly bestowed upon it, should have been told the 
age was to arrive when the existence of Troy, and of the mighty dead 
entombed upon its plain, would be considered as having no foundation in 
truth. — Dr. E. D. Clarke.] 

(2) [The Troad U a fine field for conjecture and snipe.shooting, and a 
good sportsinan and an ingenious scholar may exercise their feet and 
faculties to great advantage upon the spot ; —or, if they prefer riding, lose 
their way, m I did, in a cursed quagmire of the Scamander, who wriggles 
about u if the Dardan virgins still offered their wonted tribute. The only 

D 3 


Tlie situation seems still form'd for fame — 

A hundred thousand men might fight again 
With ease ; but where I sought for Ilion's walls. 
The quiet sheep feeds, and the tortoise crawls ; 


Troops of untended horses; here and there 
Some little hamlets, with new names uncouth ; 

Some shepherds, (unlike Paris) led to stare 
A moment at the European youth 

Whom to the spot their school-boy feelings bear ;(i) 
A Turk, with beads in hand, and pipe in mouth, 

Extremely taken with his own religion, 

Are what I found there — but the devil a Phrygian. 


Don Juan, here permitted to emerge 

From his dull cabin, found himself a slave ; 

Forlorn, and gazing on the deep blue surge, 
O'ershadow'd there by many a hero's grave ; 

Weak still with loss of blood, he scarce could urge 
A few brief questions ; and the answers gave 

No very satisfactory information 

About his past or present situation. 

vestige of Troy, or her destroyers, are the barrows supposed to contain the 
carcases of Achilles, Antilochus, Ajax, &c. ; but Mount Ida is still in high 
feather, though the shepherds are now-a-days not much like Ganymede. — 
B. Letters, 1810.] 

(1) [Nothing could be more agreeable than our frequent rambles. The 
peasants of the numerous villages, whom we frequently encountered 
ploughing with their buffkloes, or driving their creaking wicker cars, laden 
with faggots from the mountains, whether Greeks or Turks, showed no in- 
clination to interrupt our pursuits. Parties of our crew might be seen 
scattered over the plain, collecting the tortoises which swarm on the sides 
of the rivulets, and are found under every furze-biish. — Hobhouse.] 



He saw some fellow captives, who appear'd 

To be Italians, as they were in fact ; 
From them, at least, their destiny he heard, 

Which was an odd one ; a troop going to act 
In Sicily — all singers, duly rear'd 

In their vocation ; had not been attack'd 
In sailing from Livorno by the pirate. 
But sold by the impresario at no high rate.(i) 


By one of these, the buffo (2) of the party, 
Juan was told about their curious case ; 

For although destined to the Turkish mart, he 
Still kept his spirits up — at least his face ; 

The little fellow really look'd quite hearty. 
And bore him with some gaiety and grace, 

Showing a much more reconciled demeanour 

Than did the prima donna (•') and the tenor. (4) 

(1) This is a fact A few years ago a man engaged a company for some 
foreign theatre, embarked them at an Italian port, and carrying them to 
Algiers, sold them all. One of the women, returned from her captivity, I 
■ i-ard sing, by a strange coincidence, in Rossini's opera of " L'ltaliana in 
\ Igieri," at Venice, in the beginning of 1817. — [We have reason to believe 
that the following, which we take from the MS. journal of a highly re- 
■pectable traveller, is a more correct account : " In 1812, a Signor Guariglia 
induced several young persons of both sexes — none of them exceeding 
fifteen years of age — to accompany him on an operatic excursion ; part 
to form the opera, and part the ballet. He contrived to get them on 
board a vcMel, which took them to Janina, where he sold them for the 
baaest purpoacc Some died from the effect of the climate, and some from 
ffufl^ng. Amoog the few who returned were a Signor Molinari, and a 
fi-male daoeer, named Bomfiglia, who afterwards became the wife of 
< refill, the tenor singer. The wretch who so ba-sely sold them was, when 
f-ord Byron redded at .Venice, employed as capo de' vestarj, or head 
tailor, at the Fenicc."— Obaiia.%i.] 

(°{\ rnmic singer' in the opera buffa. The Italians, however, dlstln- 
^' ■ ■ •^> cantante, which requires good singing, from the buffo 

c li there is more acting.] 

., ^ i.alc Bingcr.] (41 [The mean between bass and treble] 





In a few words he told their hapless story, 
Saying, " Our Machiavelian impresario, 

Making a signal off softie promontory, 

Hail'd a strange brig ; Corpo di Caio Mario ! 

We were transferr'd on board her in a hurry, 
Without a single scudo of salario ; 

But if the Sultan has a taste for song. 

We will revive our fortunes before long. 


" The prima donna, though a little old, 

And haggard with a dissipated life, 
And subject, when the house is thin, to cold. 

Has some good notes ; and then the tenor's wife, 
With no great voice, is pleasing to behold ; 

Last carnival she made a deal of strife 
By carrying off Count Cesare Cicogna 
From an old Roman princess at Bologna. 


" And then there are the dancers ; there 's the Nini, 
With more than one profession gains by all ; 

Then there 's that laughing slut the Pelegrini, 
She, too, was fortunate last carnival. 

And made at least five hundred good zecchini, 
But spends so fast, she has not now a paul ; 

And then there's the Grotesca — such a dancer! 

Where men have souls or bodies she must answer. (^) 

(1) [MS. — " If the Turks have a soul, she's sure to answer."] 



" As for the figuranti,(i) they are like 

The rest of all that tribe ; with here and there 

A pretty person, which perhaps may strike, 
The rest are hardly fitted for a fair ; 

There 's one, though tall and stifFer than a pike, 
Yet has a sentimental kind of air 

Which might go far, but she don't dance with vigour ; 

The more's the pity, with her face and figure. 


" As for the men, they are a middling set ; 

The musico is but a crack'd old basin, 
But being qualified in one way yet, 

May the seraglio do to set his face in,(-) 
And as a servant some preferment get ; 

His singing I no further trust can place in : 
From all the Pope (^) makes yearly 'twould perplex 
To find three perfect pipes of the third sex. 


" The tenor's voice is spoilt by affectation, 

And for the bass, (^) the beast can only bellow ; 

In fact, he had no singing education. 

An ignorant, noteless, timeless, tuneless fellow, 

(1) [The figuranti are those dancers of a ballet who do not dance singly, 
but many together, and serve to fill up the background during the exhi- 
bition of individual performers. They corresjwnd to the chorus in the 
opera. — Graham.] 

(2) [MS. — " To help the ladies in their dress and lacing."] 

(3) It is strange that it should be the Pope and the Sultan, who are 
the chief encouragcrs of this branch of trade — women being prohibited 
as singers at St Peter's, and not deemed trust-worthy as guardians of the 

4) [The gravest and deepest of the male voices. — Graham.] 


But being the prima donna's near relation, 

Who swore his voice was very rich and mellow, ^ 
They hired him, though to hear him you'd believe 
An ass was practising recitative. 


" 'T would not become myself to dwell upon 

My own merits, and though young — I see, Sir — you 

Have got a travell'd air, which speaks you one 
To whom the opera is by no means new : 

You've heard of Raucocanti?(i) — I'm the man; 
The time may come when you may hear me too ; 

You was not last year at the fair of Lugo, 

But next, when I'm engaged to sing there — do go. 


" Our baritone (2) I almost had forgot, 
A pretty lad, but bursting with conceit ; 

With graceful action, science not a jot, 

A voice of no great compass, and not sweet, 

He always is complaining of his lot. 

Forsooth, scarce fit for ballads in the street ; 

In lovers' parts his passion more to breathe. 

Having no heart to show, he shows his teeth." 

Here Raucocanti's eloquent recital 

Was interrupted by the pirate crew, 
Who came at stated moments to invite all 

The captives back to their sad berths ; each threw 

(1) [Rauco-canti — may be rendered by Hoarse-song.] 

(2) [A male voice, the compass of which partakes of those of the com- 
mon bass and the tenor, but does not extend so far downwards as the one, 
nor to an equal height with the otherj 

CANTO ir. 


A rueful glance upon the waves, (which bright all 

From the blue skies derived a double blue, 
Dancing all free and happy in the sun,) 
And then went down the hatchway one by one. 

They heard next day — that in the Dardanelles, 

Waiting for his Sublimity's firman. 
The most imperative of sovereign spells, 

Which every body does without who can, 
More to secure them in their naval cells, 

Lady to lady, well as man to man, 
Were to be chain'd and lotted out per couple, 
For the slave market of Constantinople. 


It seems when this allotment was made out. 

There chanced to be an odd male, and odd female, 

Who (after some discussion and some doubt. 
If the soprano might be deem'd to be male. 

They placed him o'er the women as a scout) 
Were link'd together, and it happened the male 

Was Juan, who, — an awkward thing at his age, 

Pair'd off with a Bacchante blooming visage. (^) 


With Raucocanti lucklessly was chain'd 
The tenor ; these two hated with a hate 

Found only on the stage, and each more pain'd 
With this his tuneful neighbour than his fate ; 

(1) [MS. — " Was fetter'd to a most enchanting visage."] 

4:4; DON JUAN. canto iv. 

Sad strife arose, for they were so cross-grain'd, 

Instead of bearing up without debate, 
That each pulFd different ways with many an oath, 
" Arcades ambo," id est — blackguards both.(i) 

Juan's companion was a Romagnole, 

But bred within the March of old Ancona, 
With eyes that look'd into the very soul(^) 

(And other chief points of a " bella donna"), 
Briglit — and as black and burning as a coal ; 

And through her clear brunette complexion shone a 
Great wish to please — a most attractive dower, 
Especially when added to the power. 

But all that power was wasted upon him, 

For sorrow o'er each sense held stern command ; 
Her eye might flash on his, but found it dim; 

And though thus chain'd, as natural her hand 
Touch'd his, nor that — nor any handsome limb 

(And she had some not easy to withstand) 
Could stir his pulse, or make his faith feel brittle ; 
Perhaps his recent wounds might help a little. 

No matter ; we should ne'er too much enquire. 

But facts are facts : no knight could be more true. 
And firmer faith no ladye-love desire ; 

We will omit the proofs, save one or two : 

(1) MS. — " That each puU'd different ways — and waxing rough. 

Had cufTd each other, only for the cuff."] 

(2) QMS. — " With eyes that seem'd to look you through the souL"] 


'Tis said no one in hand " can hold a fire 

By thought of frosty Caucasus ;'*(') but few, 
I really think ; yet Juan's then ordeal 
Was more triumphant, and not much less real. 


Here I might enter on a chaste description, 
Having withstood temptation in my youth, (2) 

But hear that several people take exception 
At the first two books having too much truth ; 

Therefore I '11 make Don Juan leave the ship soon, 
Because the publisher declares, in sooth. 

Through needles' eyes it easier for the camel is 

To pass, than those two cantos into families. 


'Tis all the same to me; I'm fond of yielding. 
And therefore leave them to the purer page 

Of Smollett, Prior, Ariosto, Fielding, 

Who say strange things for so correct an age ; 

I once had great alacrity in wielding 
My pen, and liked poetic war to wage, 

And recollect the time when all this cant 

Would have provoked remarks which now it shan't. (^) 

(1) I" Oh, who can hold a fire in his hand. 

By thinking on the frosty Caucasus ? " — 

Shakspeare'« Richard II.'} ' 

(2) [MS. — ** Having had some experience in my youth. "3 

(3) [** Don Juan will be known, bt/ and by, for what it is intended — a 
•atire on abuses in the present states of society, and not an eulogy of vice. 
It may be now and then voluptuous : — I can't help that Arioeto is 

SmoUett (aee Lord Strutwell in Roderick Random) ten timet 
and Fiddlng no better. No girl will ever be seduced by reading 
Don Joan : —No, no ; the will go to LitUe't Poems, and Rousseau's Romatu 



As boys love rows, my boyhood liked a squabble ; 

But at this hour I wish to part in peace, 
Leaving such to the literary rabble, 

^Vhether my verse's fame be doom'd to cease, 
While the right hand which wrote it still is able, 

Or of some centuries to take a lease ; 
The grass upon my grave will grow as long, 
And sigh to midnight winds, but not to song. 


Of poets who come down to us through distance 
Of time and tongues, the foster-babes of Fame, 

Life seems the smallest portion of existence ; 
Where twenty ages gather o'er a name, 

'Tis as a snowball which derives assistance 
From every flake, and yet rolls on the same. 

Even till an iceberg it may chance to grow ; 

But, after all, 'tis nothing but cold snow. 

And so great names are nothing more than nominal, 

And love of glory's but an airy lust, 
Too often in its fury overcoming all 

Who would as 't were identify their dust 

for that, or even to the immaculate De StaeL They will encourage her, 
and not the Don, who laughs at that, and — and — most other things. But 
never mind — Ca irai "— Lord B. to Mr. Mtirray, 1822 J 


From out the wide destruction, which, entombing all; 

Leaves nothing till " the coming of the just" — 
Save change: I've stood upon Achilles' tomb,(^) 
And heard Troy doubted ;(-) time will doubt of Rome. 

Tlie very generations of the dead 

Are swept away, and tomb inherits tomb. 
Until the memory of an age is fled, 

And, buried, sinks beneath its offspring's doom : 

(1) t" I have stood upon the plain of Troy daily, for more than a month, 
in 1810 ; and if any thing diminished my pleasure, it was that the black- 
gaaid Bryant had impugned its veracity." — B. Diary, 1821.] 

(2) [It seems hardly to admit of doubt, that the plain of Anatolia, 
watered by the Mender, and backed by a mountainous ridge, of which 
Kazdaghy is the summit, offers the precise territory alluded to by Homer. 
The long controversy, excited by Mr. Bryant's publication, and since so 
Tehemently agitated, would probably never have existed, had it not been 
for the erroneous maps of the country which, even to this hour, disgrace 
our geographical knowledge of that part of Asia. — Dr. E. D. Clarke. 

" Although a real poet is naturally anxious to avail himself of inter. 
ccting and well-known scenery, and a story hallowed by tradition, yet it is 
only so far as they suit his purpose, that either tradition or topography 
will be adhered to : and it is surely preposterous to expect that in a 
poem, so long, so varied, and so busy as that of Homer, he should ex- 
actly conform to the sol)er rules of the annalist, or the land-surveyor. 
It was the general opinion of antiquity, that Homer had in many respects 
departed from the truth of history in the action of his poem. Nor can 
any reason be assigned why he should not, by an equal privilege, have 
omitted or softened, or altere<l, such features of the scenery as interfered. 
In his opinion, with the effect or coherence of his narration. But, while 
a poet bimadr is seldom thus particular, it is the privilege of poetry 
to bestow eren on imaginary scenery, the minuteness and liveliness 
which convey the idea of accuracy, — and if only the general features of 
his picture are correct, the zeal of his admirers in after-ages will not fail 
to aMign a local habitation to even the wildest of his features. The sexton 
of Mdrose has already begun to point out the tomb of Michael Scott, as 
4Mcribed in the Lay of the Last Minstrel ; and though the main outlines 
of Homer's picture are probably copied fVom nature, yet we doubt not 
that many of those objects to which Strabo refers, instead of affording 


Where are the epitaphs our fathers read ? 

Save a few glean'd from the sepulchral gloom 
Which once-named myriads nameless lie beneath, 
And lose their own in universal death. (i) 

I canter by the spot each afternoon 

Where perish'd in his fame the hero-boy, 
Who lived too long for men, but died too soon 

For human vanity, the young De Foix ! 
A broken pillar, not uncouthly hewn, 

But which neglect is hastening to destroj^ 
Records Ravenna's carnage on its face, 
While weeds and ordure rankle round the base. (2) 

subjects for the bard to describe, derived, in after-days, their name and 
designation from his description." — Bishop Heber.] 

(1) \_" Look back who list unto the former ages. 

And call to count what is of them become, 
"Where be those learned wits and antique sages 

Which of all wisdom knew the perfect sum ? 

Where those great warriors which did overcome 
The world with conquest of their might and main. 
And made one mear of the earth and of their reign."— SpensekJ 

(2) The pillar which records the battle of Ravenna is about two miles 
from the city, on the opposite side of the river to the road towards Forli. 
Gaston de Foix, who gained the battle, was killed in it : there fell on both 
sides twenty thousand men. The present state of the pillar and its site is 
described in the text. — [De Foix was Duke of Nemours, and nephew to 
Louis XII., who gave him the government of Milan, and made him gene- 
ral of his army in Italy. The young hero signalised his valour and abilities 
in various actions, which terminated in the battle of Ravenna, fought on 
Easter-day, 1512. After he had obtained the victory, he could not be 
dissuaded from pursuing a body of Spanish infantry, which retreated in 
good order. Making a furious charge on this brave troop, he was thrown 
from his horse, and despatched by a thrust of a pike. He perished in his 
twenty-fourth year, and the king's affliction for his death embittered all 
the joy arising from his success. — Moreri.] 




I pass each day where Dante's bones are laid : 
A little cupola, more neat than solemn, 

Protects his dust, but reverence here is paid(i) 
To the bard's tomb, (2) and not the warrior's 
column : 

The time must come, when both alike decay'd, 
The chieftain's trophy, and the poet's volume, 

Will sink where lie the songs and wars of earth, 

Before Pelides' death, or Homer's birth. 

With human blood that column was cemented. 

With human filth that column is defiled. 
As if the peasant's coarse contempt were vented 

To show his loathing of the spot he soil'd : (^) 
Thus is the trophy used, and thus lamented 

Should ever be those blood-hounds, from whose wild 
Instinct of gore and glory earth has known 
Those sufferings Dante saw in hell alone. ('*) 

1} [MS. — " Protects his tomb, but greater care is paid."] 
- r Dante was buried ("in sacra minorum aede") at Ravenna, in a 
haii.l '-111- tomb, whicli was erected by his protector, Guido da Polenta, 
restored by Bernardo Bembo in 1483, again restored by Cardinal Corsi, 
in l&J^J, and replaced by a more magnificent sepulchre in 1780, at the 
expense of the Cardinal Luigi Valent Gonzaga. The Florentines having 
in vain and frequently attempted to recover his body, crowned his image 
in a church, and his picture is still one of the idols of their cathedral. — 

HoBH(.l>K ] 

L ^1 ^ — " With human ordure is it now defiled. 

As if the peasant's scorn this mode invented 
To show his loathing of the thing he soil'd."] 
(4) [MS. — " Thoie sufferings once reserved for Hell alone." 
VOL. XVI. -j- i: 




Yet there will still be bards : though fame is smoke, 
Its fumes are frankincense to human thought ; 

And the unquiet feelings, which first woke 
Song in the world,will seek what then they sought ; (^ ) 

As on the beach the waves at last are broke, 

Thus to their extreme verge the passions brought 

Dash into poetry, (2) which is but passion, 

Or at least was so ere it grew a fashion. 



If in the course of such a life as was 
At once adventurous and contemplative. 

Men who partake all passions as they pass. 
Acquire the deep and bitter power to give (3) 

Their images again as in a glass, 

And in such colours that they seem to live ; 

You may do right forbidding them to show 'em, 

But spoil (I think) a very pretty poem. 


Oh ! ye, who make the fortunes of all books I 
Benign Ceruleans of the second sex ! 

Who advertise new poems by your looks, 
Your " imprimatur" will ye not annex ? 

(1) QMS. — " Its fumes are frankincense ; and were there nought 

Even of this vapour, still the chilling yoke 
Of silence would not long be borne by Thought"] 

(2) [" The Bride of Abydos " was written in four nights, to distract my 
dreams from . . . Were it not thus, it had never been composed ; and 
had I not done something at that time, I must have gone mad, by eating 
my own heart— bitter diet! " — B. Diary, 1813.] 

(3) [MS. — " I have drunk deep of passions as they pass, 

And dearly bought the bitter power to giva"] 

cvyro IV. DON JUAN. 51 

WTiat ! must I go to the oblivious cooks ?(^) 

Those Cornish plunderers of Parnassian wrecks ? 
Ah I must I then the only minstrel be, 
Proscribed from tasting your Castalian tea I (2) 


What ! can I prove " a lion" then no more? 

A ball-room bard, a foolscap, hot-press darling ? 
To bear the compliments of many a bore, 

And sigh, " I can't get out," like Yorick's starHng; 
Why then I'll swear, as poet Wordy swore, [ing)(3) 

(Because the world won't read him, always snarl- 
That taste is gone, that fame is but a lottery. 
Drawn by the blue-coat misses of a coterie. (^) 


Oh ! " darkly, deeply, beautifully blue," 

As some one somewhere sings about the sky, 

And I, ye learned ladies, say of you ; [why. 

They say your stockings are so — (Heaven knows 

(1) C" To pastry-cooks and moths, ' and there an end.' " — Gifford.] 
(Ji) [MS. — " What ! must 1 go with Wordy to the cooks? 

Read — were it but your Grandmother's to vex — 
And let me not the only minstrel be 
Cut off from tasting your Castalian tea.*'] 

(3) QMS. — " Why then I '11 swear, as mother Wordsworth swore, 

Because the world won't read her," &c.] 

(4) [** Aw«y, then, with the senseless iteration of the word popularity ! 
I n ererjr thing which is to send the soul into herself, to be admonished of 

• r weaknos, or to be made conscious of her strength ; wherever life and 

iture arc described as operated upon by the creative or abstracting virtue 

f the imagination ; wherever the instinctive wisdom of antiquity, and 

r heroic passions, uniting, in the heart of the Poet, with the meditative 

. of later ages, have produced that accord of sublimatetl humanity, 

^ at once a history of the n-mote past, and a prophetic announce- 

.... ,.; ..; the remotest future — Mrrf, the I'oct must reconcile himself for a 

wason to few and scattered hearers."— WoroswokthV Second Pr^ace."} 

E 2 


I have examined few pair of that hue) ; 
Blue as the garters which serenely lie 
Round the Patrician left-legs, which adorn 
The festal midnight, and the levee morn.(^) 


Yet some of you are most seraphic creatures — 
But times are alter'd since, a rhyming lover, 

You read my stanzas, and I read your features : 
And — but no matter, all those things are over ; 

Still I have no dislike to learned natures, 

For sometimes such a world of virtues cover ; 

I knew one woman of that purple school, 

The loveliest, chastest, best, but — quite a fool. 


Humboldt, " the first of travellers," but not 
The last, if late accounts be accurate. 

Invented, by some name I have forgot. 
As well as the sublime discovery's date. 

An airy instrument, with which he sought 
To ascertain the atmospheric state. 

By measuring " the intensity of blue : " (2) 

Oh, Lady Daphne ! let me measure you ! (^) 

(1) [MS. — " Not having look"d at many of that hue, 

Nor garters — save those of the ' honi soil' — which lie 
Round the Patrician legs which walk about. 
The ornaments of levee and of rout."] 

(2) [The cyanometer — an instrument invented for ascertaining the in- 
tensity of the blue colour of the sky. On the summit of high mountains, 
elevated above the grosser portions of the atmosphere, it might be curious 
to compare experiments with those made with the same kind of instrument 
by M. Saussure on the Alps ; but it is mere ostentation to talk, as M. de 
Humboldt docs, of such experiments made at sea with a view of being 
useful to navigation. We prefer, as more simple and more correct, that 




But to the narrative . — The vessel bound 

With slaves to sell off in the capital, 
After the usual process, might be found 

At anchor under the seraglio wall ; 
Her cargo, from the plague being safe and sound, 

Were landed in the market, (■^) one and all. 
And there with Georgians, Russians, and Circassians, 
Bought up for different purposes and passions. 

natural diaphanometer, which for ages has regulated the prognostics of 
mariners — " a great paleness of the setting sun, a wan colour, an extra- 
ordinary disfiguration of iU disc ; " though we should be cautious in ad- 
mining that these meteorological phenomena are the unequivocal signs 
of a tempest The marine barometer is far more important to the ma- 
finer than hygrometers or cyanometers. By this instrument a change of 
weather never fails to be indicated by the least rising or falling of the mer- 
cury in the tube; the descent, in tropical latitudes, of an eighth of an 
inch, when at a distance from the land, is the unequivocal indication of an 
approaching storm. Many a ship has been saved from destruction by the 
timely notice given by this instrument to prepare for a storm ; and no ship 
should be permitted to go to sea without one. — Barrow.] 
(3) [MS. — " I '11 back a London ' Bas' against Peru." 


I '11 bet some pair of stockings beat Peru." 
And so, old Sotheby, we'll measure you."] 

(4) [" The slave-market is a quadrangle, surrounded by a covered gal- 
lery, and ranges of small and separate apartments. Here the poor 
wretches sit in a melancholy posture. Before they cheapen them, they 
turn them about from this side to that, survey them from top to bottom, 
put them to exercise whatever they have learned, and this several times a 
day, without coming to any agreement Such of them, both men and 
women, to whom dame Nature has been niggardly of her charms, are set 
a|>art for the vilest purposes ; hut such girls as have youth and beauty, 
pass their time well enough. The retailers of this human ware are the 
Jews, who take gofni care of their slaves' education, that they may sell the 
better : their choicest they keep at home, and there you must go, if you 
would ha\e hotter than ordinary ; for it is here, as in markets for horses, 
the handsomest do not always appear, but .are kept within doors." — 


E S 



Some went off dearly ; fifteen hundred dollars 
For one Circassian, a sweet girl, were given. 

Warranted virgin ; beauty's brightest colours 
Had deck'd her out in all the hues of heaven : 

Her sale sent home some disappointed bawlers, 
Who bade on till the hundreds reach'd eleven ; (^) 

But when the offer Avent beyond, they knew 

'Twas for the Sultan, and at once withdrew. 

Twelve negresses from Nubia brought a price 

Which the West Indian market scarce would bring; 
Though Wilberforce, at last, has made it twice 

What 'twas ere Abolition ; and the thing 
Need not seem very wonderful, for vice 

Is always much more splendid than a king : 
The virtues, even the most exalted. Charity, 
Are saving — vice spares nothing for a rarity. 

(1) [The manner of purchasing slaves is thus described in the plain and 
unaffected narrative of a German merchant, " which," says Mr. Thorn- 
ton, " as I have been able to ascertain its general authenticity, may be re- 
lied upon as correct." The girls were introduced to me one after another. 
A Circassian maiden, eighteen years old, was the first who presented herself: 
she was well-dressed, and her face was covered with a veil. She advanced 
towards me, bowed down and kissed my hand : by order of her master she 
walked backwards and forwards, to show her shape and the easiness of her 
gait and carriage. When she took off her veil, she displayed a bust of the most 
attractive beauty : she rubbed her cheeks with a wet napkin, to prove that 
she had not used art to heighten her complexion ; and she opened her in- 
viting lips, to show a regular set of teeth of pearly whiteness. I was 
permitted to feel her pulse, that I might be convinced of the good state 
of her health and constitution. She was then ordered to retire while we 
deliberated upon the bargain. The price of this beautiful girl was four 
thousand piastres." — See Voyage de N. E. Kleeman, and also Thornton's 
Turkey, vol. ii. p. 289.] 



But for the destiny of this young troop, 

How some were bought by pachas, some by Jews, 

How some to burdens were obliged to stoop. 
And others rose to the command of crews 

As renegadoes ; while in hapless group. 
Hoping no very old vizier might choose. 

The females stood, as one by one they pick'd 'em. 

To make a mistress, or fourth wife, or victim : Q) 


All this must be reserved for further song ; 

Also our hero's lot, howe'er unpleasant 
(Because this Canto has become too long). 

Must be postponed discreetly for the present ; 
I 'm sensible redundancy is wrong. 

But could not for the muse of me put less in't: 
And now delay the progress of Don Juan, 
Till what is call'd in Ossian the fifth Duan. 

(1) [MS. — " The females stood, till chosen each as victim 
To the soft oath of ' Ana seing Siktum ! ' " 

s 4 




[Canto V. was begun at Ravenna, October the 16th, and 
finished November the 20th, 1S20. It was published, as has 
been already mentioned, late in 1821, along with Cantos III. 
and IV. ; and here the Poet meant to stop — for what reason, 
the subjoined extracts from his letters will show : 

February 16. 1821. " The fifth is so far from being the last of Don Juan, 
that it is hanlly the beginning. I meant to take him the tour of Europe, 
with a proper mixture of siege, battle, and adventure, and to make him 
finish as Anacharsis Cloots, in the French Revolution. To how many 
cantos this may extend, I know not, nor whether (even if I live) I shall 
complete it ; but this was my notion. I meant to have made him a Cavalier 
Servente in Italy, and a cause for a divorce in England, and a sentimental 
* Werther-faced man ' in Germany, so as to show the different ridicules of 
the society in each of those countries, and to have displayed him gradually 
gats and blasS as he grew older, as is natural. But 1 had not quite fixed 
whether to make him end in hell, or in an unhappy marriage, not knowing 
which would be the severest: the Spanish tradition says hell; but it is 
probably only an allegory of the other state. You are now in possession of 
my notions on the subject." 

July 6. 1821. " At the particular request of the Contessa Guiccioli I have 
promised not to continue Don Juan. You will therefore look upon these 
three Cantos as the last of the poem. She had read the two first in the 
French translation, and never ceased beseeching me to write no more of it. 
The reason of this is not at first obvious to a superficial observer of foreign 
manners ; but it arises from the wish of all women to exalt the sentiment 
of the passions, and to keep up the illusion which is their empire. Now, 
Don Juan strips off this illusion, and laughs at that and most other things. 
I never knew a woman who did not protect Rousseau, nor one who did not 
dislike De Grammont, Gil Bias, and all the comedy of the passions, when 
brought out naturally. But ' king's blood must keep word,' as Serjeant 
Bothwell says." 

September 4. 1821. " I read over the Juans, which are excellent Your 
squad are quite wrong ; and so you will find, by and by. I regret that I do 
not go on with it, for I had all the plan for several cantos, and diffierent 
countries and climes. You say nothing of the note 1 enclosed to you, which 
will explain why I agreed to discontinue it." 

In Madame Guiccioli's note, here referred to, she had said, 
** Remember, my Byron, the promise you have made me. 
Never shall I be able to tell you the satisfaction I feel from it ; 
so great are the sentiments of pleasure and confidence with 
which the sacrifice you have made has inspired me." -' E.] 




When amatory poets sing their loves 

In liquid lines mellifluously bland, 
And pair their rhymes as Venus yokes her doves, 

They little think what mischief is in hand ; 
The greater their success the worse it proves, 

As Ovid's verse may give to understand ; 
Even Petrarch's self, if judged with due severity, 
Is the Platonic pimp of all posterity. (^) 

I therefore do denounce all amorous writing, 

Except in such a way as not to attract ; 
Plain — simple — short, and by no means inviting. 

But with a moral to each error tack'd, 
Form'd rather for instructing than delighting, 

\n(l with all passions in their turn attack'd; 
-Now, if my Pegasus should not be shod ill. 
This poem will become a moral model. 

rS«e " HobhouM's HUtorical Note* to the Fourth Canto of Cbilde 
u r : I." cmtc. Vol. VIIL p. 285.3 




The European with the Asian shore 

Sprinkled with palaces ; the ocean stream Q) 

Here and there studded with a seventy-four ; 
Sophia's cupola with golden gleam ; (2) 

The cypress groves ; Olympus high and hoar ; 
The twelve isles, and the more than I could dream, 

Far less describe, present the very view 

Which charm 'd the charming Mary Montagu. (3) ^ 


I have a passion for the name of " Mary/'(*) 
For once it was a magic sound to me ; 

And still it half calls up the realms of fairy, 
Where I beheld what never was to be ; 

(1) '^xicivofo pioio. This expression of Homer has been much criticised. 
It hardly answers to our Atlantic ideas of the ocean, but is sufficiently 
applicable to the Hellespont, and the Bosphorus, with the ^gean inter- 
sected with islands. 

(2) [" Lad)' Mary Wortley errs strangely when she says, ' St. Paul's 
would cut a strange figure by St. Sophia.' I have been in both, surveyed 
them inside and out attentively. St. Sophia's is undoubtedly the most in- 
teresting, from its immense antiquity, and the circumstance of all the Greek 
emperors, from Justinian, having been crowned there, and several mur- 
dered at the altar, besides the Turkish sultans who attended it regularly. 
But it is not to be mentioned in the same page with St. Paul's (I speak like 
a Cockney)." — .B. Letters, 1810.] 

(3) [" The pleasure of going in a barge to Chelsea is not comparable to 
that of rowing upon the canal of the sea here, where, for twenty miles to- 
gether, down the Bosphorus, the most beautiful variety of prospects present 
themselves. The Asian side is covered with fruit trees, villages, and the 
most delightful landscapes in nature ; on the European stands Constanti- 
nople, situated on seven hills ; showing an agreeable mixture of gardens, 
pine and cypress trees, palaces, mosques, and public buildings, raised one 
above another, with as much beauty and appearance of symmetry as you 
ever saw in a cabinet adorned by the most skilful hands, where jars show 
themselves above jars, mixed with canisters, babies, and candlesticks. This 
is a very odd comparison ; but it gives me an exact idea of the thing." — 
Lady M. W. Montagu.] 

(4) [See anti. Vol VII. pp. 43. 291.] 

c.i>rov. DON JUAN. 61 

All feelings changed, but this was last to vary, 

A spell troin which even yet I am not quite free : 
But I grow sad — and let a tale grow cold, 
Whiih must not be pathetically told. 


The wind swept down the Euxine, and the wave 
Broke foaming o'er the blue Symplegades ; 

'Tis a grand sight from off " the Giant's Grave "(^) 
To watch the progress of those rolling seas 

Between the Bosphorus, as they lash and lave(-) 
Europe and Asia, you being quite at ease ; 

There 's not a sea the passenger e'er pukes in, 

Turns up more dangerous breakers than the Euxine. 


'Twas a raw day of Autumn's bleak beginning. 
When nights are equal, but not so the days ; 

The Parcae then cut short the further spinning 
Of seamen's fates, and the loud tempests raise (*^) 

The waters, and repentance for past sinning 

In all, who o'er the great deep take their ways : 

They vow to amend their lives, and yet they don't ; 

Because if drown'd, they can't — ifspared, they won't. 

(1) The " Giant's Grave" u a height on the Asiatic shore of the Bos- 
phoriu, much frequented by holiday parties ; like Harrow and Highgate. 
[In lew than an hour, we were on the top of the mountain, and repaired 
to the Tekeh, or Dervishes' chapel, where we were shewn, in the adjoin- 
ing garden, a flower-bed more than fifty feet long, rimmed round with 
•tone, and having a sepulchral turban at each end, which preserves a 
tupcrktiiidn attached to the spot long before the time of the Turks, or of 
the Byzantine Christians ; and which, after having been called the tomb 
of Amycui, and the bed of Hercules, is now known as the Giant's Grave. 


(2) [MS. — ** Which lash the Bosphorus, and lashing lave. "3 

(3) [MS. ^^ For then the Parcse are most busy spinning 

The fates of seamen, and the loud winds raise"] 



A crowd of shivering slaves of every nation, 
And age, and sex, were in the market ranged ; 

Each bevy with the merchant in his station : 
Poor creatures ! their good looks were sadly changed. 

All save the blacks seem'd jaded with vexation. 
From friends, and home, and freedom far estranged; 

The negroes more philosophy display 'd, — 

Used to it, no doubt, as eels are to be flay'd. (') 


Juan was juvenile, and thus was full, 

As most at his age are, of hope, and health ; 

Yet I must own, he look'd a little dull, 

And now and then a tear stole down by stealth ; 

Perhaps his recent loss of blood might pull 
His spirit down ; and then the loss of wealth, 

A mistress, and such comfortable quarters. 

To be put up for auction amongst Tartars, 


Were things to shake a stoic ; ne'ertheless. 
Upon the whole his carriage was serene : 

His figure, and the splendour of his dress. 

Of which some gilded remnants still were seen. 

Drew all eyes on him, giving them to guess 
He was above the vulgar by his mien ; 

And then, though pale, he was so very handsome ; 

And then — they calculated on his ransom. (2) 

(1) [MS. — " From use— no doubt — as eels are — to be flay'd,"] 

(2) [MS. — " That he a man of rank and birth had been, 

And then they calculated on his ransom, 

And last, not least — he was so very handsome. "J 



Like a backgammon board the place was dotted 
With whites and blacks, in groups on show for sale, 

Though rather more irregularly spotted : 

Some bought the jet, while others chose the pale. 

It chanced amongst the other people lotted, 
A man of thirty, rather stout and hale,(i) 

With resolution in his dark grey eye, 

Next Juan stood, till some might choose to buy. 


lie had an English look; that is, was square 
In make, of a complexion white and ruddy, 

v.jood teeth, with curling rather dark brown hair. 
And, it might be from thought, or toil, or study. 

An open brow a little mark'd with care : 
One arm had on a bandage rather bloody ; 

And there he stood with such sang-froid, that greater 

Could scarce be shown even by a mere spectator. 


But seeing at his elbow a mere lad. 

Of a high spirit evidently, though 
At present weigh'd down by a doom which had 

O'erthrown even men, he soon began to show 
A kind of blunt compassion for the sad 

Lot of so young a partner in the woe. 
Which for himself he seem'd to deem no worse 
Than any other scrape, a thing of course. 

(1) [MA — " It chanced, that near him, separately lotted, 

From out the groups of slavei put up for sale, 
A man of middle age, and," &c.]; 



" My boy !" — said he, " amidst this motley crew 
Of Georgians, Russians, Nubians, and what not, 

All ragamuffins differing but in hue, 

With whom it is our luck to cast our lot, 

The only gentlemen seem I and you ; 
So let us be acquainted, as we ought ; 

If I could yield you any consolation, [nation ? " 

'T would give me pleasure. — Pray, what is your 


When Juan answer 'd — " Spanish I" he replied, 
" I thought, in fact, you could not be a Greek ; 

Those servile dogs are not so proudly eyed : 
Fortune has play'd you here a pretty freak, 

But that 's her way with all men, till they 're tried ; 
But never mind, — she'll turn, perhaps, next week; 

She has served me also much the same as you. 

Except that I have found it nothing new." 


" Pray, sir," said Juan, " if I may presume, [rare — 
What brought you here ? " — " Oh I nothing very 

Six Tartars and a drag-chain " — " To this doom 

But what conducted, if the question 's fair. 

Is that which I would learn." — " I served for some 
Months with the Russian army here and there, 

And taking lately, by Suwarrow's bidding, 

A town, was ta'en myself instead of Widdin."(i) 

(1) [Widdin is a considerable town in Bulgaria, situated on the right 
bank of the Danube.] 



*• Have you no friends?" — " I had — but, by God's 
Have not been troubled with them lately. Now 

I have answer'd all your questions without pressing, 
And you an equal courtesy should show." 
Alas !" said Juan, " 'twere a tale distressing. 
And long besides." — " Oh ! if 'tis really so. 

You're right on botli accounts to hold your tongue ; 

A sad tale saddens doubly, when 'tis long. 


But droop not ; Fortune at your time of life, 

Although a female moderately fickle. 
Will hardly leave you (as she's not your wife) 

For any length of days in such a pickle. 
To strive, too, with our fate were such a strife 

As if the corn-sheaf should oppose the sickle : 
Men are the sport of circumstances, when 
The circumstances seem the sport of men." 


Tis not," said Juan, " for my present doom 

I mourn, but for the past; — I loved a maid:" — 
He paused, and his dark eye grew full of gloom ; 

A single tear upon his eyelash staid 
A moment, and then dropp'd ; " but to resume, 

'Tis not my present lot, as I have said, 
Which I deplore so much ; for I have borne 
Hardships which have the hardiest overworn, (') 

(1) ^MS. — " for I have known 

Hardahipt which hardy men have overthrown.''^ 




" On the rough deep. But this last blow — " and 
He stopp'd again, and turn'd away his face, [here 

" Ay," quoth his friend, " I thought it would appear 
That there had been a lady in the case ; 

And these are things which ask a tender tear,(i) 
Such as I, too, would shed if in your place : 

I cried upon my first wife's dying day, 

And also when my second ran away : 


" My third " — "Your third ! " quoth Juan, turn- 
ing round ; 

" You scarcely can be thirty : have you three ? " 
" No — only two at present above ground: 

Surely 'tis nothing wonderful to see 
One person thrice in holy wedlock bound !" [she ? 

" Well, then, your third," said Juan ; what did 
She did not run away, too, — did she, sir?" [her." 
" No, faith." — " What then?" — " I ran away from 


" You take things coolly, sir," said Juan. " Why," 
Replied the other, " what can a man do ? 

There still are many rainbows in your sky. 

But mine have vanish'd. All, when life is new, 

Commence with feelings warm, and prospects high ; 
But time strips our illusions of their hue. 

And one by one in turn, some grand mistake 

Casts off its bright skin yearly like the snake. 

(2) [MS. — " And these are things that oft demand a tear."] 



Tis true, it gets another bright and fresh, 

Or fresher, brighter ; but the year gone through, 
This skin must go the way, too, of all flesh, 

Or sometimes only wear a week or two ; — 
Love's the first net which spreads its deadly mesh ; 

Ambition, Avarice, Vengeance, Glory, glue 
The glittering lime-twigs of our latter days, 
Where still we flutter on for pence or praise." 


" All this is very fine, and may be true," 
Said Juan ; " but I really don't see how 

It betters present times with me or you." 

" No?" quoth the other; " yet you will allow 

By setting things in their right point of view. 

Knowledge, at least, is gain'd ; for instance, now. 

We know what slavery is, and our disasters 

May teach us better to behave when masters." 


" Would we were masters now, if but to try 

Tlieir present lessons on our Pagan friends here," 

Said Juan — swallowing a heart-burning sigh :(i) 
" Heaven help the scholar whom his fortune sends 
here !" 

" Perhaps we shall be one day, by and by," [here ; 
Ilejoin'd the other, " when our bad luck mends 

Meantime (yon old black eunuch seems to eye us) 

I wish to G — d that somebody would buy us ! (-) 

(1) [MS. — " Said Juan, •wallowing down a rising sigh."] 

(8) [MA — •• Twould be[ J* ^^"^ jif somebody would buy us."] 

r 2 



" But after all, what is our present state ? 

'Tis bad, and may be better — all men's lot : 
Most men are slaves, none more so than the great. 

To their own whims and passions, and what not ; 
Society itself, which should create 

Kindness, destroys what little we had got : 
To feel for none is the true social art 
Of the world's stoics — men without a heart." 


Just now a black old neutral personage 

Of the third sex stept up, and peering over 

The captives seem'd to mark their looks and age. 
And capabilities, as to discover 

If they were fitted for the purposed cage : 
No lady e'er is ogled by a lover. 

Horse by a blackleg, broadcloth by a tailor^ 

Fee by a counsel, felon by a jailor, (*) 


As is a slave by his intended bidder. (2) 

'T is pleasant purchasing our fellow-creatures ; 

And all are to be sold, if you consider 

Their passions, and are dext'rous ; some by features 

(1) [MS. — " broad cloth by a tailor, 

Fee by physician, felon by a jailor."] 

(2) [" The intended bidders minutely examine the poor creatures merely 
to ascertain their qualities as animals, select the sleekest and best-condi- 
tioned from the different groups ; and, besides handling and examining 
their make and size, subject their mouths, their teeth, and whatever 
chiefly engages attention, to a scrutiny of the most critical description." 
De Pouqueville.] 


Are bought up, others by a warlike leader, 

Some by a place — as tend their years or natures ; 
The most by ready cash — but all have prices, (i) 
From crowns to kicks, according to their vices. 


The eunuch having eyed them o'er with care, 
Turn'd to the merchant, and begun to bid 

First but for one, and after for the pair ; 

They haggled, wrangled, swore, too — so they did! 

As though they were in a mere Christian fair 
Cheapening an ox, an ass, a lamb, or kid ; 

So that their bargain sounded like a battle 

For this superior yoke of human cattle. 


At last they settled into simple grumbling. 
And pulling out reluctant purses, and 

Turning each piece of silver o'er, and tumbling 
Some down, and weighing others in their hand, 

(1) [" Sir Robert Walpole is justly blamed for a want of political de- 
conun, »nd for deriding public spirit, to which Pope alludes : — 

* Seen him, I have, but in his happier hour 
Of Mxrial pleasure, ill exchanged for power; 
Seen him, uncuinber'd with the venal tribe. 
Smile without art, and win without a bribe. 
Would he oblige me ! let me only find 
He does not think me, what he thinks mankind.' 

Although it U not possible to justify him, yet this part of his conduct ha« 
been greatly exaggerated. The political axiom generally attributed to 
biin« thai all men have their price, was perverted by leaving out the word 
thou. Flowery oratory he despised ; he ascribed it to the interestetl views 
of tbemseWes or their relatives, the declarations of pretended patriots, ol 
wbom he said, * All those men have their price,' and in the event many 
of them justified his obsenration." — Coxb.] 

r 3 


And by mistake sequins (i) with paras jumbling, 

Until the sum was accurately scann'd, 
And then the merchant giving change, and signing 
Receipts in full, began to think of dining. 


I wonder if his appetite was good ? 

Or, if it were, if also his digestion ? 
Methinks at meals some odd thoughts might intrude, 

And conscience ask a curious sort of question. 
About the right divine how far we should 

Sell flesh andblood. When dinner has opprest one, 
I think it is perhaps the gloomiest hour 
Which turns up out of the sad twenty-four. 


Voltaire says " No:" he tells you that Candide 
Found life most tolerable after meals ; 

He's wrong — unless man were a pig, indeed, 
Repletion rather adds to what he feels. 

Unless he's drunk, and then no doubt he's freed 
From his own brain's oppression while it reels. 

Of food I think with Philip's son, ('-) or rather 

Ammon's (ill pleased with one world and one fa- 
ther); (3) 

(1) I^The Turkish zecchino is a gold coin, worth about seven shillings 
and sixpence. The para is not quite equal to an English halfpenny.] 

(2) See Plutarch in Alex., Q. Curt. Hist Alexand., and Sir Richard 
Clayton's " Critical Inquiry into the Life of Alexander the Great." 

(3) [MS, — " But for mere food, I think with Philip's son. 

Or Ammon's — for two fathers claim'd this one."3 



I think with Alexander, that the act 

Of eating, with another act or two, 
Makes us feel our mortality in fact 

Redoubled ; when a roast and a ragout. 
And fish, and soup, by some side dishes back'd. 

Can give us either pain or pleasure, who 
Would pique himself on intellects, whose use 
Depends so much upon the gastric juice ?(^) 


Tlie other evening ('twas on Friday last) — 
This is a fact, and no poetic fable — 

Just as my great coat was about me cast, 
^ly hat and gloves still lying on the table, 

I heard a shot — 'twas eight o'clock scarce past — 
And, running out as fast as I was able, (2) 

I found the military commandant 

Stretch'd in the street, and able scarce to pant. (3) 

(Ij [" Last night suffered horribly from an indigestion. I remarked in 
my Ulness the complete inertion, inaction, and destruction of my chief 
mental faculties. I tried to rouse them, and yet could not 1 should believe 
that the soul was married to the body, if they did not sympathise so much 
with each other. If the one rose when the other fell, it would be a sign 
that they longed for the natural state of divorce. But, as it is, they seem 
to draw together like post-horses." — B. Diary, 1821.] 

(2) The assassination alluded to took place on the 8th of December, 
1890, in the streets of Ravenna, not a hundred paces from the residence of 
the writer. The circumstances were as described. — [" December 9. 1820. 
I oj*n my letter to tell you a fact, which will show the state of this 
country lictter than I can. The commandant of the troops is now lying 
dead in mj bouse. He was shot at a little past eight o'clock, about two 
hundred paces from my door. I was putting on my great coat when I 
heard the shot On coming into the hall, I found all my servants on the 
balcony, exclaiming that a man was murdered. I immediately ran down, 
calling on Tita (the bravest of them) to follow me. The rest wanted to 
hinder us from going, as it b the custom for every body here, it seems, to 
run away from the stricken deer." — /?. Letters.'^ 

13) [MS. — •• Just kiU'd, and scarcely competent to pant"] 

P 4. 



Poor fellow ! for some reason, surely bad, 

They had slain him with five slugs ; and left him there 

To perish on the pavement : so I had 

Him borne into the house and up the stair, 

And stripp d,and look'd to,(i) But why should I 

More circumstances ? vain was every care ; 

The man was gone : in some Italian quarrel 

Kill'd by five bullets from an old gun-barrel. (2) 

I gazed upon him, for I knew him well ; 

And though I have seen many corpses, never 
Saw one, whom such an accident befell, 

So calm ; though pierced through stomach, heart, 
and liver, 

(1) [MS.— "so I had 

Him borne as soon 's I could, up several pair 

Of stairs — and look'd to, But why should I add 

More circumstances," &c.] 

(2) [" We found him lying on his back, almost, if not quite, dead, with 
five wounds, one in the heart, two in the stomach, one in the finger, and 
the other in the arm. Some soldiers cocked their guns, and wanted to 
hinder me from passing. However, we passed, and I found Diego, the 
adjutant, crying over him like a child — a surgeon, who said nothing of 
his profession — a priest, sobbing a frightened prayer — and the command- 
ant, all this time, on his back, on the hard, cold pavement, without light 
or assistance, or any thing around him but confusion and dismay. As no- 
body could, or would, do any thing but howl and pray, and as no one 
would stir a finger to move him, for fear of consequences, I lost my pa. 
tience — made my servant and a couple of the mob take up the body — 
sent off two soldiers to the guard — despatched Diego to the Cardinal with 
the news, and had him carried up stairs into my own quarters. But it 
was too late — he was gone. There were found close by him an old gun- 
barrel, sawn half off; it had just been discharged, and was quite warm." — 
B. Letters.^ 


He seem'd to sleep, — for you could scarcely tell 

(As he bled inwardly, no hideous river 
Of gore divulged the cause) that he was dead : 
So as I gazed on him, I thought or said — 


" Can this be death ? then what is life or death ? 

JSpeak I " but he spoke not : " wake ! " but still he 
slept : — 
" But yesterday and who had mightier breath ? 

A thousand warriors by his word were kept 
In awe : he said, as the centurion saith, 

* Go,' and he goeth ; ' come,' and forth he stepp'd. 
The trump and bugle till he spake were dumb — 
And now nought left him but the muffled drum."(i) 


And they who waited once and worshipp'd — they 
With their rough faces throng'd about the bed 

To gaze once more on the commanding clay 
Which for the last, though not the first, time bled : 

And such an end ! that he who many a day 
Had faced Napoleon's foes until they fled, — 

The foremost in the charge or in the sally, 

Should now be butcher'd in a civic alley. 


The scars of his old wounds were near his new, 
Those honourable scars which brought him fame ; 

And liorrid was the contrast to the view (2) 

But let me quit the theme ; as such things claim 

(1) [MS, — ** And now as »llent as an unstrung drum."] 

(2) [" I had him partly (tripped — made the surgeon examine him, and 
examined him iny»elf. He had been shot by cut balls or slugs. I felt one 
of the slugs, which had gone through him, all but the skin. He only said, 

I )io !' and ' Gicsu !* two or three times, and appeared to have suffered 


Perhaps even more attention than is due 

From me : I gazed (as oft I have gazed the same) 
To try if I could wrench aught out of death 
Which should confirm, or shake, or make a faith ; 


But it was all a mystery. Here we are, 

And there we go : — but where ? five bits of lead, 

Or three, or two, or one, send very far ! 

And is this blood, then, form'd but to be shed ? 

Can every element our elements mar ? 

And air — earth — water — fire live — and we dead? 

We^ whose minds comprehend all things ? No more ; 

But let us to the story as before. 


The purchaser of Juan and acquaintance 
Bore off his bargains to a gilded boat, 

Embark'd himself and them, and off they went thence 
As fast as oars could pull and water float ; 

They look'd like persons being led to sentence. 
Wondering what next, till the caique (i) was 

Up in a little creek below a wall [brought 

O'ertopp'd with cypresses, dark-green and tall. 

little. Poor fellow ! he was a brave officer ; but had made himself disliked 
by the people." I knew him personally, and had met him often at 
conversazioni and elsewhere. My house is full of soldiers, dragoons, 
doctors, priests, and all kinds of persons, — though I have now cleared it 
and clapped sentinels at the door. To-morrow the body is to be moved. 
You are to know, that if I had not had the body moved, they would have 
left him there till morning in the street, for fear of consequences. I 
would not choose to let even a dog die in such a manner, without suc- 
cour;— and, as for consequences, I care for none in a duty." — 
£. Letters. 1 

(1) The light and elegant wherries plying about the quays of Constanti- ' 
nople are so called. 



Here their conductor tapping at the wicket 
Of a small iron door, 'twas open'd, and 

He led them onward, first through a low thicket 
Flank'd by large groves, which tower'd on either 
hand : 

They almost lost their way, and had to pick it — 
For night was closing ere they came to land. 

The eunuch made a sign to those on board, 

Who row'd off, leaving them without a word. 


As they were plodding on their winding way 

Through orange bowers, and jasmine, and so forth : 

(Of which I might have a good deal to say. 
There being no such profusion in the North 

Of oriental plants, " et cetera," 

But that of late your scribblers think it worth 

Their while to rear whole hotbeds in their works 

Because one poet travell'd 'mongst the Turks :)(^) 


As they were threading on their way, there came 
Into Don Juan's head a thought, which he 

^V!lisper'd to his companion: — 'twas the same 
Which might have then occurr'd to you or me. 
^ leth inks," — said he, — "it would be no great shame 
If we should strike a stroke to set us free ; 

Let 's knock that old black fellow on the head, 

And march away — 'twere easier done than said." 

U L" ta«CTn siietche*," " Parga," " Phrosyne," " Ilderim," &c. &c.] 



" Yes," said the other, " and when done, what then? 

How get out ? how the devil got we in ? 
And when we once were fairly out, and when 

From Saint Bartholomew we have saved our 
To-morrow 'd see us in some other den, [skin,(i) 

And worse off than we hitherto have been ; 
Besides, I'm hungry, and just now would take, 
Like Esau, for my birthright a beef-steak. 


" We must be near some place of man's abode ; — 
For the old negro's confidence in creeping. 

With his two captives, by so queer a road, 

Shows that he thinks his friends have not been 
sleeping ; 

A single cry would bring them all abroad : 

'Tis therefore better looking before leaping — (2) 

And there, you see, this turn has brought us through. 

By Jove, a noble palace ! — lighted too." 


It was indeed a wide extensive building 

Which open'd on their view, and o'er the front 

There seem'd to be besprent a deal of gilding 
And various hues, as is the Turkish wont, — 

A gaudy taste ; for they are little skill'd in 

The arts of which these lands were once the font : 

Each villa on the Bosphorus looks a screen 

New painted, or a pretty opera-scene. 

(1) St Bartholomew is said to have been flayed alive. 

(2) [MS. — " I am for rather looking now than leaping."] 



And nearer as they came, a genial savour 

• Of certain stews, and roast-meats, and pilaus, 

Things which in hungry mortals' eyes find favour, 

Made Juan in his harsh intentions pause, 
And put himself upon his good behaviour : 

His friend, too, adding a new saving clause. 
Said, " In Heaven's name let's get some supper now, 
And then I'm with you, if you're for a row." 


Some talk of an appeal unto some passion. 

Some to men's feelings, others to their reason ; 

The last of these was never much the fashion, 
For reason thinks all reasoning out of season. 

Some speakers whine, and others lay the lash on. 
But more or less continue still to tease on. 

With arguments according to their " forte ;" 

But no one ever dreams of being short. — 


But I digress: of all appeals, — although 
I grant the power of pathos, and of gold. 

Of beauty, flattery, threats, a shilling, — no 

Method's more sure at moments to take hold(^) 

Of the best feelings of mankind, which grow 
More tender, as we every day behold. 

Than that all-softening, overpowering knell, 

The tocsin of the soul — the dinner-bell. 

(1) [M&— •* Of •peeche*, beauty, flattery — there U no 
Method more lure," &c.3 



Turkey contains no bells, and yet men dine ; 

And Juan and his friend, albeit they heard 
No Christian knoll to table, saw no line 

Of lackeys usher to the feast prepared, 
Yet smelt roast-meat, beheld a huge fire shine. 

And cooks in motion with their clean arms bared, 
And gazed around them to the left and right 
With the prophetic eye of appetite. 


And giving up all notions of resistance. 

They follow'd close behind their sable guide, 

Who little thought that his own crack'd existence 
Was on the point of being set aside : 

He motion'd them to stop at some small distance, 
And knocking at the gate, 'twas open'd wide, 

And a magnificent large hall display'd 

The Asian pomp of Ottoman parade. 


I won't describe ; description is my forte. 
But every fool describes in these bright days 

His wondrous journey to some foreign court. 

And spawns his quarto, and demands your praise — 

Death to his publisher, to him 't is sport ; 

While Nature, tortured twenty thousand ways. 

Resigns herself with exemplary patience 

To guide-books, (^) rhymes, (2) tours, (3) sketches, (^) 
illustrations. (^) 

(1) [" Guide des Voyageurs," " Directions for Travellers," &c. — 
(2) " Rhymes, Incidental and Humorous," " Rhyming Reminiscences," 



Along this hall, and up and down, some, squatted 
Upon their hams, were occupied at chess ; 

Others in monosyllable talk chatted. 
And some seem'd much in love with their own dress. 

And divers smoked superb pipes decorated 
With amber mouths of greater price or less ; 

And several strutted, others slept, and some 

Prepared for supper with a glass of rum. (•) 


As the black eunuch enter'd with his brace 
Of purchased Infidels, some raised their eyes 

A moment without slackening from their pace ; 
But those who sate, ne'er stirr'd in any wise : (-) 

One or two stared the captives in the face, 
Just as one views a horse to guess his price ; 

Some nodded to the negro from their station. 

But no one troubled him with conversation. (3) 

*• Effbsion* in Rhyme," &&— .(3) " Lady Morgan's Tour in Italy," *'Tour 

*^ -'- 'Tta," &C. &C.— (4) " Sketches of Italy," " Sketches of Modern 

\c. — (5) A playful allusion to Mr. Hobhouse's " Illustrations 

(1; in Turkey nothing is more common than for the Mussulmans to take 
«•*«*! g Uww of strong spirits by way of appetizer. I have seen them 
take M many aa six of raki before dinner, and swear that they dined the 
better for it : I tried the experiment, hut fared like the Scotchman, who 
luring heard that the birds called kittiwakes were admirable whets, ate 
iix of them, and complained that " he was no hungrier than when he 

42) [MS — ** The sitters never stirr'd in any wise"] 

(S) C" ETcry thing is so still in the court of the seraglio, that the motion 
of a fly oiight, in a manner, be heard ; and if any one should presume to 
lalM hW voice ever lo Uttlc, or show the least want of respect to the 
w a nri po p l aca of their emperor, he would insUntly have the bastinado by 
the officen that go the roundt.**— Toubnefobt.] 



He leads them through the hall, and, without stopping, 
On through a farther range of goodly rooms, 

Splendid but silent, save in one, where, dropping, Q) 
A marble fountain echoes through the glooms 

Of night, which robe the chamber, or where popping 
Some female head most curiously presumes 

To thrust its black eyes through the door or lattice. 

As wondering what the devil noise that is. 


Some faint lamps gleaming from the lofty walls 
Gave light enough to hint their farther way, 

But not enough to show the imperial halls 
In all the flashing of their full array ; 

Perhaps there's nothing — I'll not say appals. 
But saddens more by night as well as day, 

Than an enormous room without a soul 

To break the lifeless splendour of the whole. 


Two or three seem so little, one seems nothing : 
In deserts, forests, crowds, or by the shore, 

There solitude, we know, has her full growth in 
The spots which were her realms for evermore ; 

(1) A common furniture. I recollect being received by Ali Pacha, in a 
large room, paved with marble, containing a marble basin, and fountain 
playing in the centre, &c. &c. [See anti. Vol. VIIL p. 92. — 
" In marble-paved pavilion, where a spring 
Of living water from the centre rose. 
Whose bubbling did a genial freshness fling. 

And soft voluptuous couches breathed repose. 
An reclined, a man of war and woes," &c.] 


But in a mighty hall or gallery, both in 

More modern buildings and those built of yore, 
A kind of death comes o'er us all alone, 
Seeing what's meant for many with but one. 


neat, snug study on a winter's night, (i) 

A book, friend, single lady, or a glass 
Of claret, sandwich, and an appetite, 

Are things which make an English evening pass ; 
Though certes by no means so grand a sight 

As is a theatre lit up by gas. 
I pass my evenings in long galleries solely. 
And that's the reason I'm so melancholy. 


Alas! man makes that great which makes him little: 
I grant you in a church 'tis very well : 

\Vhat speaks of Heaven should by no means be brittle, 
But strong and lasting, till no tongue can tell 

Their names who rear'd it; but huge houses fit ill — 
And huge tombs worse — mankind, since Adam fell: 

Methinks the story of the tower of Babel 

Might teach them this much better than I'm able. 


B^bel was Nimrod's hunting-box, and then 

A town of gardens, walls, and wealth amazing, 

\\ liere Nabuchadonosor, king of men, 

Reign'd, till one summer's day he took to grazing, 

: [MS. —"A •man, anug chamber on a winter'* night. 

Well ftimUh'd with a book, friend, girl, or glass," fttj 



And Daniel tamed the lions in their den, 

The people's awe and admiration raising ; 
'Twas famous, too, for Thisbe and for Pyramus,(') 
And the calumniated queen Semiramis. — (-') 


That injured Queen, by Chroniclers so coarse 
Has been accused (I doubt not by conspiracy) 

Of an improper friendship for her horse 

(Love, like religion, sometimes runs to heresy) : 

This monstrous tale had probably its source 
(For such exaggerations here and there I see) 

In writing " Courser" by mistake for " Courier:" 

I wish the case could come before a jury here, p) 


But to resume, — should there be (what may not 
Be in these days ?) some infidels, who don't, 

Because they can't find out the very spot(-*) 
Of that same Babel, or because they won't 

(1) [See Ovid's Metamorphoses, lib. iv. 

" In Babylon, where first her queen, for state. 
Raised walls of brick magnificently great. 
Lived Pyramus and Thisbe, lovely pair! 
He found no Eastern youth his equal there. 
And she beyond the fairest nymph was fair." — GarthJ 

(2) Babylon was enlarged by Nimrod, strengthened and beautified by 
Nabuchadonosor, and rebuilt by Semiramis. 

(3) [At the time when Lord Byron was writing this Canto, the unfor. 
tunate affair of Queen Caroline, charged, among other offences, with ad- 
mitting her chamberlain, Bergami, originally a courier, to her bed, was 
occupying much attention in Italy, as in England. The allusions to the 
domestic troubles of George IV. in the text, arc frequent. — E.] 

(4) [Excepting the ruins of some large and lofty turrets, like that of 
Babel or Belus, the cities of Babylon and Nineveh are so completely 



^^ riiough Claudius Rich, Esquire, some brinks Las got, 

And written lately two memoirs upon s)(') 
Believe the Jews, those unbelievers, who 
Must be believed, though they believe not you. 


Yet let them think that Horace has^xprest 
Shortly and sweetly ihe masonic folly 

Of those, forgetting the great place of rest, 
Who give themselves to architecture wholly ; 

We know where things and men must end at best : 
A moral (like all morals) melancholy, 

And " Et sepulchri immemor struis domos"(2) 

Shows that we build when we should but entomb us. 

crumbled into du»t, as to be wholly undistinguishable but by a few in. 
equalities of the surface on which they once stood. The humble tent of the 
Arab now occupies the spot formerly adorned with the palaces of kings, 
aod his flocks procure but a scanty pittance of food, amidst the fallen frag- 
mtoU of ancient magnificence. The banks of the Euphrates and Tigris, 
oooe to prolific, are now, for the most part, covered with impenetrable 
bruihwood; and the interior of the province, which was traversed and 
fatUiMd with innumerable canals, is destitute of either inhabitants or 
¥ «l i trti o n . — MoEiBB.] 

(1) [" Two Memoirs on the Ruins of Babylon, by Claudius James Rich, 
Eiq., Resident tat the East India Company at the Court of the Pasha of 

(2) [" Tu secanda marmora 

Locas tub ipsum funus, et sepulchri 
Immemor struis domos." — Hor. 

•• D«y prewet on the heels of day, 
Aod moons increase to their decay ; 
But you, with thoughtless pride elate, 
UoeoiMcious of impending fate, 

ind the pillar 'd dome to rise, 
, lol the tomb forgotten lies." — Fkancis.] 
G 2 



At last they reachM a quarter most retired, 
Where echo woke as if from a long slumber ; 

Though full of all things which could be desired, 
One wonder'd what to do with such* a number 

Of articles which nobody required ; -^ 

Here wealth had done its utmost to encumber Ij 

With furniture an exquisite apartment. 

Which puzzled Nature much toknow what Art meant 


It seem'd, however, but to open on 

A range or suite of further chambers, which 

Might lead to heaven knows where ; but in this one 
The moveables were prodigally rich : 

Sofas 'twas half a sin to sit upon. 

So costly were they ; carpets every stitch 

Of workmanship so rare, they made you wish 

You could gUde o'er them like a golden fish.(') 


The black, however, without hardly deigning 

A glance at that which wrapt the slaves in wonder, 

Trampled what they scarce trod for fear of staining, 
As if the milky way their feet was under 

With all its stars ; and with a stretch attaining 
A certain press or cupboard niched in yonder — 

In that remote recess which you may see — 

Or if you don't the fault is not in me, — 

(1) [MS. — *• That you could but glide o'er them like a fish."] 



I wish to be perspicuous ; and the black, 
I say, unlocking the recess, pull'd forth 

A quantity of clothes fit for the back 
Of any Mussulman, whate'er his worth ; 

And of variety there was no lack — 
And yet, though I have said there was no dearth, — 

He chose himself to point out what he thought 

Most proper for the Christians he had bought. 


The suit he thought most suitable to each 
Was, for the elder and the stouter, first 

A Candiote cloak, which to the knee might reach. 
And trousers not so tight that they would burst. 

But such as fit an Asiatic breech ; 

A shawl, whose folds in Cashmire had been nurst, 

Slippers of saffron, dagger rich and handy ; 

In short, all things which form a Turkish Dandy. 


While he was dressing, Baba, their black friend, 
Hinted the vast advantages which they 

Might probably obtain both in the end, 
If they would but pursue the proper way 

^Vhich Fortune plainly seem'd to recommend ; 
And then he added, that he needs must say, 

" T would greatly tend to better their condition, 

If they would condescend to circumcision. 
G 3 



" For his own part, he really should rejoice 
To see them true believers, but no less 

Would leave his proposition to their choice." 
The other, thanking him for this excess 

Of goodness, in thus leaving them a voice 
In such a trifle, scarcely could express 

" Sufficiently" (he said) " his approbation 

Of all the customs of this polish'd nation. 


" For his own share — he saw but small objection 

To so respectable an ancient rite ; 
And,. after swallowing down a slight refection, 

For which he own'd a present appetite, 
He doubted not a few hours of reflection 

Would reconcile him to the business quite." 
" Will it?" said Juan, sharply: " Strike me dead, 
But they as goon shall circumcise my head !(i) 

LXX 1 1. 

" Cut off a thousand heads, before " — " Now, 


Replied the other, " do not interrupt : 
You put me out in what I had to say. 

Sir I — as I said, as soon as I have supt, 
I shall perpend if your proposal may 

Be such as I can properly accept ; 
Provided always your great goodness still 
Remits the matter to our own free-will." 

(1) [MS. — " If they shall not as soon cut oflf my head."] . 


-%vrov. DON JUAN. 87 


Irdhd eyed Juan, and said, " Be so good 

As dress yourself — " and pointed out a suit 

In which a Princess with great pleasure would 
Array her limbs ; but Juan standing mute, 

As not being in a masquerading mood, 

Gave it a slight kick with his Christian foot ; 

And when the old negro told him to " Get ready," 

Replied, " Old gentleman, I'm not a lady." 


What you may be, I neither know nor care," 

Said Baba ; " but pray do as I desire : 
I have no more time nor many Avords to spare." 

" At least," said Juan, " sure I may enquire 
The cause of this odd travesty?" — " Forbear," 

Said Baba, " to be curious ; 'twill transpire. 
No doubt, in proper place, and time, and season : 
I have no authority to tell the reason." 


"Then if I do," said Juan, "Til be "—"Hold!" 

Rejoin'd the negro, " pray be not provoking ; 

This spirit's well, but it may wax too bold. 
And you will find us not too fond of joking." 

" What, sir I" said Juan, " shall it e'er be told 
That I unsexM my dress ? " But Baba, stroking 

The things down, said, " Incense me, and I call 

Those who will leave you of no sex at all. 
G 4 



" I offer you a handsome suit of clothes : 
A woman's, true ; but then there is a cause 

Why you should wear them." — "What, though my 
soul loathes 
The effeminate garb ?" — thus, after a short pause, 

Sigh'd Juan, muttering also some slight oaths, 
" What the devil shall I do with all this gauze?" 

Thus he profanely term'd the finest lace 

Which e'er set off a marriage-morning face. 


And then he swore ; and, sighing, on he slipp'd 
A pair of trousers of flesh-colour'd silk ; 

Next with a virgin zone he was equipp'd, 

Which girt a slight chemise as white as milk ; (^) 

But tugging on his petticoat, he tripp'd, 

Wliich — as we say — or, as the Scotch say, whilk, 

(The rhyme obliges me to this ; sometimes 

Monarchs are less imperative than rhymes) — C^^) 


Whilk, which (or what you please), was owing to 
His garment's novelty, and his being awkward : 

And yet at last he managed to get through 
His toilet, though no doubt a little backward : 

(1) [" The first part of my dress is a pair of drawers, very full, that 
reach to my shoes, and conceal the legs more modestly than your English 
petticoats. They are of a thin rose-coloured damask, brocaded with silver 
flowers. Over this hangs my smock, of a fine white silk gauze, embroi- 
dered with gold. This smock has wide sleeves, hanging half-way down 
the arm, and is closed at the neck with a diamond button." — Lady 
M. W. Montagu.] 

(2) [MS. — " Kings are not more imperative than rhymes."] 



The negro Baba help'd a little too, 

When some untoward part of raiment stuck hard ; 
And, wrestling both his arms into a gown. 
He paused, and took a survey up and down. 


One difficulty still remain'd — his hair 

Was hardly long enough ; but Baba found 

So many false long tresses all to spare. 

That soon his head was most completely crown'd, 

After the manner then in fashion there ; 

And this addition with such gems was bound 

As suited the ensemble of his toilet, 

WTiile Baba made him comb his head and oil it. 


And now being femininely all array 'd, [tweezers. 
With some small aid from scissors, paint, and 

He look'd in almost all respects a maid, Q) 

And Baba smilingly exclaim'd, " You see, sirs, 

A perfect transformation here display'd ; 

And now, then, you must come along with me, sirs. 

That is — the Lady:" clapping his hands twice, 

Four blacks were at his elbow in a trice. 


" You, sir," said Baba, nodding to the one, 
** Will please to accompany those gentlemen 

To supper ; but you, worthy Christian nun, 
Will follow me : no trifling, sir ; for when 

(1) [Ma — " He look'd in all save modesty a maid. "3 



I say a thing, it must at once be done. 

What fear you ? think you this a lion's den ? 
Why, 't is a palace ; where the truly wise 
Anticipate the Prophet's paradise. 

** You fool ! I tell you no one means you harm." 

" So much the better," Juan said, " for them ; 
Else they shall feel the weight of this my arm. 

Which is not quite so light as you may deem. 
I yield thus far ; but soon will break the charm 

If any take me for that which I seem : 
So that I trust for every body's sake, 
That this disguise may lead to no mistake." 


" Blockhead ! come on, and see," quoth Baba ; while 
Don Juan, turning to his comrade, who 

Though somewhat grieved, could scarce forbear a 
Upon the metamorphosis in view, — 

" Farewell ! " they mutually exclaim'd : " this soil 
Seems fertile in adventures strange and new ; 

One's turn'd half Mussulman, and one a maid, 

By this old black enchanter's unsought aid. 


" Farewell !" said Juan : " should we meet no more, 
I wish you a good appetite." — " Farewell ! " 

Replied the other ; " though it grieves me sore ; 
When we next meet, we'll have a tale to tell: 


We needs must follow when Fate puts from shore. 
Keep your good name ; though Eve herself once 
fell." [carry me, 

" Nay," quoth the maid, " the Sultan's self shan't 
Unless his highness promises to marry me." 


And thus they parted, each by separate doors ; 

Baba led Juan onward room by room 
Through glittering galleries, and o'er marble floors, 

Till a gigantic portal through the gloom. 
Haughty and huge, along the distance lowers; 

Vnd wafted far arose a rich perfume : 
it seem'd as though they came upon a shrine, 
For all was vast, still, fragrant, and divine. 


The giant door was broad, and bright, and high, 
Of gilded bronze, and carved in curious guise ; 

Warriors thereon were battling furiously ; 

Here stalks the victor, there the vanquish'd lies ; 

There captives led in triumph droop the eye. 
And in perspective many a squadron flies : 

It seems the work of times before the line 

Of Rome transplanted fell with Constantine. 


This massy portal stood at the wide close 
Of a huge hall, and on its either side 

Two little dwarfs, the least you could suppose, 
Were sate, like ugly imps, as if allied 


In mockery to the enormous gate which rose 

O'er them in almost pyramidic pride : 
The gate so splendid was in all its features, Q) 
You never thought about those little creatures, 



Until you nearly trod on them, and then 
You started back in horror to survey 

The wondrous hideousness of those small men. 
Whose colour was not black, nor white, nor grey, 

But an extraneous mixture, which no pen 
Can trace, although perhaps the pencil may ; 

They were mis-shapen pigmies, deaf and dumb — 

Monsters, who cost a no less monstrous sum. 


Their duty was — for they were strong, and though 
They look'd so little, did strong things at times — 

To ope this door, which they could really do. 
The hinges being as smooth as Rogers' rhymes ; 

And now and then, with tough strings of the bow, 
As is the custom of those Eastern climes. 

To give some rebel Pacha a cravat ; 

For mutes are generally used for that. 

(1) Features of a gate — a ministerial metaphor: " the feature upon 
which this question hinges." See the " Fudge Family," or hear Castle- 
reagh. — [Phil. Fudge, in his letter to Lord Castlereagh, says : 
" As thou would'st say, my guide and teacher 
In these gay metaphoric fringes, 
I now embark into the feature 
On which this letter chiefly hinges." 
The note adds, " verbatim from one of the noble Viscount's speeches t 
And now, sir, I must embark into the feature on which this question chi^t/ 
hinges." — Fudge Famili/, p. li.J 



They spoke by signs — that is, not spoke at all; 

And looking like two incubi, they glared 
As Baba with his fingers made them fall 

To heaving back the portal folds : it scared 
Juan a moment, as this pair so small, 

With shrinking serpent optics on him stared ; 
It was as if their little looks could poison 
Or fascinate whome'er they fix'd their eyes on. 

Before they enter'd, Baba paused to hint 

To Juan some slight lessons as his guide : 
" If you could just contrive,' he said, " to stint 

That somewhat manly majesty of stride, [in't) 
T would be as well, and, — (though there's not much 

To swing a little less from side to side. 
Which has at times an aspect of the oddest ; — 
And also could you look a little modest, 


" T would be convenient ; for these mutes have eyes 
Like needles, which may pierce those petticoats ; 

And if they should discover your disguise. 

You know how near us the deep Bosphorus floats ; 

And you and I may chance, ere morning rise. 
To find our way to Marmora without boats, 

Stitch'd up in sacks — a mode of navigation 

A good deal practised here upon occasion." (*) 

(I) A few ye»n ago the wife of Muchtar Pacha complained to hit father 
•r hi* ton's tuppoMd infidelity : he asked with whom, and she had tho 
to gire in a list of the twdve handsomest women in Yanina 



With this encouragement, he led the way 
Into a room still nobler than the last ; 

A rich confusion form'd a disarray 

In such sort, that the eye along it cast 

Could hardly carry any thing away. 

Object on object flash'd so bright and fast ; 

A dazzling mass of gems, and gold, and glitter. 

Magnificently mingled in a litter. 

Wealth had done wonders — taste not much; such 

Occur in Orient palaces, and even [things 

In the more chasten'd domes of Western kings 

(Of which I have also seen some six or seven) 
Where I can't say or gold or diamond flings 

Great lustre, there is much to be forgiven ; 
Groups of bad statues, tables, chairs, and pictures, 
On which I cannot pause to make my strictures. 

In this imperial hall, at distance lay 

Under a canopy, and there reclined 
Quite in a confidential queenly way,'(^) 

A lady ; Baba stopp'd, and kneeling sign'd 

They were seized, fastened up in sacks, and drowned in the lake the same 
night. One of the guards who was present informed me, that not one 
of the victims uttered a cry, or showed a symptom of terror at so sudden 
a " wrench from all we know, from all we love." [See anU, VoL IX. 
pp. 145. 200.] 

(I) [" On a sofa, raised three steps, and covered with fine Persian carpets, . 
sat the kiyaya's lady, leaning on cushions of white satin, embroidered," &c* 
Lady M. W. Montagu.] 


To Juan, who though not much used to pray, 

Knelt down by instinct, wondering in his mind 
What all this meant : while Baba bow'd and bended 
^'■^ head, until the ceremony ended. 

The lady rising up with such an air 

As Venus rose with from the wave, on them 
Bent like an antelope a Paphian pair(^) 

Of eyes, which put out each surrounding gem ; 
And raising up an arm as moonlight fair. 

She sign'd to Baba, who first kiss'd the hem 
Of her deep purple robe, and speaking low, 
Pointed to Juan, who remain'd below. 


Her presence was as lofty as her state ; 

Her beauty of that overpowering kind, 
Whose force description only would abate : 

I'd rather leave it much to your own mind, 
Than lessen it by what I could relate 

Of forms and features ; it would strike you blind 
Could I do justice to the full detail ; 
So, luckily for both, my phrases fail. 


Thus much however I may add, — her years 

Were ripe, they might make six-and- twenty springs, 

But there are forms which Time to touch forbears, 
And turns aside his scythe to vulgar things, (2) 

(I) [MS. — " Ai Ventu row from ocean — bent on them 

With a fiir.reachmg glance, a Paphian pair."] 
TO CMS. — •* But there are formi which Time adorn*, not wean. 
And to which beauty obstinately cling*."] 


Such as was Mary's Queen of Scots ;(^) true — tears 

And love destroy ; and sapping sorrow wrings 
Charms from the charmer, yet some never grow 
Ugly; for instance — Ninon de rEnclos.(-) 


She spake some words to her attendants, who 
Composed a choir of girls, ten or a dozen. 

And were all clad alike ; (*^) like Juan^ too. 
Who wore their uniform, by Baba chosen : 

(1) [With regard to the queen's person, all contemporary authors agree 
in ascribing to Mary the utmost beauty of countenance, and elegance of 
shape, of which the human form is capable. Her hair was black, though, 
according to the fashion of that age, she frequently wore borrowed locks, 
and of different colours. Her eyes were a dark grey ; her complexion was 
exquisitely fine ; and her hands and arms remarkably delicate, both as to 
shape and colour. Her stature was of a height that rose to the majestic 
She danced, walked, and rode with equal grace. Her taste for music was 
just, and she both sang and played upon the lute with uncommon skill. No 
man, says Brantome, ever beheld her person without admiration and love, 
or will read her history without sorrow. — Robertson.] 

(2) [Mademoiselle de I'Enclos, celebrated for her beauty, her wit, her 
gallantry, and, above all, for the extraordinary length of time during which 
she preserved her attractions. She.intrigued with the young gentlemen of 
three generations, and is said to have had a grandson of her own among 
her lovers. See the works of Madame de Sevigne, Voltaire, &c. &c. for 
copious particulars- of her life. The Biographic Universelle says — "In 
her old age, her house was the rendezvous of the most distinguished 
persons. Scarron consulted her on his romances, St Evremond on his 
poems, Moliere on his comedies, Fontenelle on his dialogues, and La 
Rochefoucault on his maxims. Coligny, Sevigne, &c. were her lovers 
and friends. At her death, in 1705, and in her ninetieth year, she 
bequeathed to Voltaire a considerable sum, to expend in books." — E.] 

(3) [" Her fair maids were ranged below the sofa, and, to the number 
of twenty, were all dresse<l in fine light damasks, brocaded with silver. 
They put me in mind of the pictures of the ancient nymphs. I did not 
think all nature could have furnished such a scene of beauty," &c — 
Ladt M. W. Montagu.] 


They form'd a very nymph-like looking crew, 

Which might have call'd Diana's chorus " cousin," 
As far as outward show may correspond ; 
I won't be bail for any thing beyond. 

They bow'd obeisance and withdrew, retiring. 

But not by the same door through which came in 
Baba and Juan, which last stood admiring. 

At some small distance, all he saw within 
This strange saloon, much fitted for inspiring 

Marvel and praise ; for both or none things win ; 
And I must say, I ne'er could see the very 
Great happiness of the " Nil Admirari.''(i) 


" Not to admire is all the art I know [speech) 

(Plain truth, dear Murray, (-) needs few flowers of 

To make men happy, or to keep them so;" 
(So take it in the very words of Creech), 

Thus Horace wrote we all know long ago ; 

And thus Pope(-^) quotes the precept to re-teach 

From his translation ; but had none admired. 

Would Pope have sung, or Horace been inspired ? (^) 

(I) [" Nil ■ d mifM i, prope re« e»t una, Numici, 

B ol aq at qam poMit faccre et servarc beatum." — 

HoR. lib. i. epist vl] 
T; rrbe •* Morrty " of Pope was the great Earl Mansfield] 

(3) rNottoadaln,toaQtheartIknow 

To inaka bmi liappy, and to keep them so, 

(Plain truth, dear Murray, needs no flowers of speech. 

So take it In the wy words of Creech."}] 

(4) [** I nudntaiocd that Horace was wrong in placing happiness in nil 
aimirari, te that I thought admiration one of the most agreeable of all 




Baba, when all the damsels were withdrawn, 
Motion'd to Juan to approach, and then 

A second time desired him to kneel down, 
And kiss the lady's foot ; which maxim when 

He heard repeated, Juan with a frown 
Drew himself up to his full height again, 

And said, " It grieved him, but he could not stoop 

To any shoe, unless it shod the Pope." 

Baba, indignant at this ill-timed pride. 

Made fierce remonstrances, and then a threat 
He mutter'd (but the last was given aside) 

About a bow-string — quite in vain ; not yet 
Would Juan bend, though 'twere to Mahomet's bride: 

There 's nothing in the world like etiquette 
In kingly chambers or imperial halls, 
As also at the race and county balls. Q) 

our feelings ; and I regretted that I had lost much of my disposition to ad- 
mire, which people generally do as they advance in life. " Sir," said 
Johnson, " as a man advances in life, he gets what is better than admir. 
ation — judgment, to estimate things at their true value." I still insisted 
that admiration was more pleasing than judgment, as love is more pleasing 
than friendship. The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfort- 
ably filled with roast beef; love, like being enlivened with champagna 
JoHVsox, " No, Sir; admiration and love are like being intoxicated with 
champagne; judgment and friendship like being enlivened. Waller [[has 
hit upon the same thought with you ; but I don't believe you have bor- 
rowed from Waller." — CKOVi&vi's Boswell, vol. iil p. 236.] 

(1) [MS. — " I 've also seen it at provincial balls."] 



He stood like Atlas, with a world of words 
About his ears, and natliless would not bend ; 

The blood of all his line's Castilian lords 
Boifd in his veins, and rather than descend 

To stain his pedigree a thousand swords 
A thousand times of him had made an end ; 

At length perceiving the ^^ fooC could not stand, 

Baba proposed tliat he should kiss the hand. 

Here was an honourable compromise, 

A half-way house of diplomatic rest, 
Where they might meet in much more peaceful guise; 

And Juan now his willingness exprest. 
To use all fit and proper courtesies, 

Adding, that this was commonest and best. 
For through the South, the custom still commands 
The gentleman to kiss the lady's hands. 

And he advanced, though with but a bad grace, 

I'hough on more thorough-hred Q) or fairer fingers 
So Ups e'er left their transitory trace: 

On such as these the lip too fondly lingers, 
And for one kiss would fain imprint a brace, 

As you will see, if she you love shall bring hers 
In contact ; and sometimes even a fair stranger's 
An almost twelvemonth's constancy endangers. 

(1) There i* nothing, perhapt, more distinctive of birth than the hand. 
It Is almmt the only lign of blood which aristocracy can generata [See 

H 2 


The lady eyed him o'er and o'er, and bade 

Baba retire, which he obey'd in style, 
As if well-used to the retreating trade ; 

And taking hints in good part all the while. 
He whisper' d Juan not to be afraid. 

And looking on him with a sort of smile, 
Took leave, with such a face of satisfaction, 
As good men wear who have done a virtuous action. 


When he was gone, there was a sudden change : 
I know not what might be the lady's thought. 

But o'er her bright brow flash'd a tumult strange, 
And into her clear cheek the blood was brought, 

Blood-red as sunset summer clouds which range 
The verge of Heaven; and in her large eyes wrought 

A mixture of sensations, might be scann'd. 

Of half-voluptuousness and half command. 


Her form had all the softness of her sex. 
Her features all the sweetness of the devil. 

When he put on the cherub to perplex 

Eve, and paved (God knows how) the road to evil ; 

The sun himself was scarce more free from specks 
Than she from aught at which the eye could cavil ; 

Yet, somehow, there was something somewhere 

As if she rather order d than was granting. — 



Something imperial, or imperious, threw 
A chain o'er all she did ; that is, a chain 

Was thrown as 'twere about the neck of you, — 
And rapture's self will seem almost a pain 

With aught which looks like despotism in view: 
Our souls at least are free, and 'tis in vain 

We would against thera make the flesh obey — 

The spirit in the end will have its wa}^ 


Her very smile was haughty, tliough so sweet ; 

Her very nod was not an inclination ; 
There was a self-will even in her small feet, 

As though they were quite conscious of her 
station — 
They trod as upon necks ; and to complete 

Her state (it is the custom of her nation), 
A poniard deck'd her girdle, as the sign 
She was a sultan's bride, (thank Heaven, not mine !) 


" To hear and to obey" had been from birth 

The law of all around her ; to fulfil 
All phantasies which yielded joy or mirth. 

Had been her slaves* chief pleasure, as her will ; 
Her blood was high, her beauty scarce of earth : 

Judge, then, if her caprices e'er stood still ; 
Had she but been a Christian, I've a notion 
We should have found out the " perpetual motion." 
u 3 



Whate'er she saw and coveted was brought ; 

Whate'er she did not see, if she supposed 
It might be seen, with dihgence was sought, 

And when 'twas found straightway the bargain 
There was no end unto the things she bought, 

Nor to the trouble which her fancies caused ; 
Yet even her tyranny had such a grace. 
The women pardon'd all except her face. 

Juan, the latest of her whims, had caught 

Her eye in passing on his way to sale ; 
She order'd him directly to be bought, 

And Baba, who had ne'er been known to fail 
In any kind of mischief to be wrought. 

At all such auctions knew how to prevail : 
She had no prudence, but he had ; and this 
Explains the garb which Juan took amiss. 

His youth and features favour'd the disguise. 

And, should you ask how she, a sultan's bride, 
Could risk or compass such strange phantasies, 

This I must leave sultanas to decide : 
Emperors are only husbands in wives' eyes, 

And kings and consorts oft are mystified, (^) 
As we may ascertain with due precision. 
Some by experience, others by tradition. 

(1) [[MS. — " And husbands now and then are mystified. "3 

CAXiov. DON JUAN. 103 


But to the main point, where we have been tending : — 
She now conceived all difficulties past, 

\rjd deem'd herself extremely condescending 
When, being made her property at last, 

Without more preface, in her blue eyes blending 
Passion and power, a glance on him she cast, 

And merely saying, " Christian, canst thou love ? " 

Conceived that phrase was quite enough to move. 


And 80 it was, in proper time and place ; 

But Juan, who had still his mind o'erflowing 
With Haidee's isle and soft Ionian face. 

Felt the warm blood, which in his face was glowing. 
Rush back upon his heart, which fill'd apace, 

And left his cheeks as pale as snowdrops blowing : 
These words went through his soul like Arab-spears, 
So that he spoke not, but burst into tears. 


She was a good deal shock' d ; not shock'd at tears. 
For women shed and use them at their liking ; 

But there is something when man's eye appears 
Wet, still more disagreeable and striking : 

A woman's tear-drop melts, a man's half sears. 
Like molten lead, as if you thrust a pike in 

His heart to force it out, for (to be shorter) 

To them 't is a relief, to us a torture. 
H 4 

104 DON JUAN. CA>-TO> 


And she would have consoled, but knew not how : 
Having no equals, nothing which had e'er 

Infected her with sympathy till now, (^) 

And never having dreamt what 'twas to bear 

Aught of a serious, sorrowing kind, although 
There might arise some pouting petty care 

To cross her brow, she wonder'd how so near 

Her eyes another's eye could shed a tear. 


But nature teaches more than power can spoil, (2) 
And, when a strong although a strange sensation 

Moves — female hearts are such a genial soil 
For kinder feelings, whatsoe'er their nation, 

They naturally pour the " wine and oil," 
Samaritans in every situation ; 

And thus Gulbeyaz, though she knew not why, 

Felt an odd glistening moisture in her eye. 


But tears must stop like all things else ; and soon 
Juan, who for an instant had been moved 

To such a sorrow by the intrusive tone 

Of one who dared to ask if " he had loved, " 

(1) [MS. — — ^ " nothing which had e'er 

Exacted a true sympathy till now."] 

(2) [MS. — " But nature teaches what power cannot spoil. 

And, though it was a new and strange sensation, 
Young female hearts are such a genial soil 
For kinder feelings, she forgot her station."] 

CAsrroT. DON JUAN. 105 

Call'd back the stoic to his eyes, which shone 
Bright witli the very weakness he reproved; 
And although sensitive to beauty, he 
Felt most indignant still at not being free. 


Gulbeyaz, for the first time in her days. 
Was much embarrass'd, never having met 

In all her life with aught save prayers and praise ; 
And as she also risk'd her life to get 

Him whom she meant to tutor in love's ways 
Into a comfortable tete-a-tete, 

To lose the hour would make her quite a martyr, 

And they had wasted now almost a quarter. 


I also would suggest the fitting time, 

To gentlemen in any such like case, 
That is to say — in a meridian clime, 

With us there is more law given to the chase, 
But here a small delay forms a great crime : 

So recollect that the extremest grace 
Is just two minutes for your declaration— 
A moment more would hurt your reputation. 

Juan'g was good; and might have been still better, 

But he had got Haidee into his head : 
However strange, he could not yet forget her. 

Which made him seem exceedingly ill-bred. 


Gulbeyaz, who look'd on him as her debtor 

For having had him to her palace led, 
Began to blush up to the eyes, and then 
Grow deadly pale, and then blush back again. 

At length, in an imperial way, she laid 

Her hand on his, and bending on him eyes. 
Which needed not an empire to persuade, 

Look'd into his for love, where none replies : 
Her brow grew black, but she would not upbraid, 

That being the last thing a proud woman tries ; 
She rose, and pausing one chaste moment, threw 
Herself upon his breast, and there she grew. 

This was an awkward test, as Juan found, 

But he was steel'd by sorrow, wrath, and pride : 
With gentle force her white arms he unwound, 

And seated her all drooping by his side, 
Then rising haughtily he glanced around, 

And looking coldly in her face, he cried, 
" The prison'd eagle will not pair, nor I 
Serve a sultana's sensual phantasy. 

" Thou ask'st, if I can love ? be this the proof 

How much I have loved — that I love not thee ! 
In this vile garb, the distaff, web, and woof, 

Were fitter for me : Love is for the free ! 

>"ro V. DON JUAN. 107 

un not dazzled by this splendid roof; 

Wliate'er thy power, and great it seems to be, 
Heads bow, knees bend, eyes watch around a throne, 
And hands obey — our hearts are still our own." 


This was a truth to us extremely trite ; 

Not so to her, who ne'er had heard such things : 
She deem'd her least command must yield delight, 

Earth being only made for queens and kings. 
If hearts lay on the left side or the right 

She hardly knew, to such perfection brings 
Legitimacy its born votaries, when 
\ vare of their due royal rights o'er men. 

Besides, as has been said, she was so fair 

As even in a much humbler lot had made 
A kingdom or confusion any where, 

And also, as may be presumed, she laid 
Some stress on charms, which seldom are, if e'er, 

By their possessors thrown into the shade : 
She thought hers gave a double " right divine ;" 
And half of that opinion's also mine. 

member, or (if you can not) imagine, 
Ve ! who have kept your chastity when young. 
While some more desperate dowager has been waging 
Love with you, and been in the dog-days stung (i) 

(1) [M& — •* War with your heart — whom you, Ingratca! have itung 
By a rcAisal," Ac] 


By your refusal, recollect her raging ! 

Or recollect all that was said or sung 
On such a subject ; then suppose the face 
Of a young downright beauty in this case. 

Suppose, — but you already have supposed. 

The spouse of Potiphar, the Lady Booby, (^) 
Phaedra, (-) and all which story has disclosed 

Of good examples ; pity that so few by 
Poets and private tutors are exposed. 

To educate — ye youth of Europe — you by ! 
But when you have supposed the few we know, 
You can't suppose Gulbeyaz' angry brow. 


A tigress robb'd of young, a lioness. 

Or any interesting beast of prey. 
Are similes at hand for the distress 

Of ladies who can not have their own way ; 

(1) [In Fielding's novel of Joseph Andrews.] 

(2) [" But if my boy with virtue be endued, 

"What harm will beauty do him ? Nay, what good ? 

Say, what avail'd, of old, to Theseus' son. 

The stern resolve ? what to Bellerophon ? — 

O, then did Phsedra redden, then her pride 

Took fire, to be so stedfastly denied ! 

Then, too, did Sthenobsea glow with shame, 

And both burst forth with unextinguish'd flame!"— JiA". 

The adventures of Hippolitus, the son of Theseus, and Bellerophon are 
well known. They were accused of incontinence, by the women whose 
inordinate passions they had refused to gratify at the expense of their duty, 
and sacrificed to the fatal credulity of the husbands of the disappointed 
fair ones. It is very probable that both the stories are founded on the 
Scripture account of Joseph and Potiphar's wife. — Gifford.] 


But though my turn will not be served with less, 

These don't express one half what I should say : 
For what is stealing young ones, few or many, 
To cutting short their hopes of having any ? 


The love of offspring 's nature's general law. 

From tigresses and cubs to ducks and ducklings ; 
There's nothing whets the beak, or arms the claw 

Like an invasion of their babes and sucklings ; 
And all who have seen a human nursery, saw 

How mothers love their children's squalls and 
chucklings ; 
This strong extreme effect (to tire no longer 
Your patience) shows the cause must still be 
stronger. (') 

If I said fire flash'd from Gulbeyaz' eyes, 

Twere nothing — for her eyes flash'd always fire; 
Or said her cheeks assumed the deepest dyes, 

I should but bring disgrace upon the dyer, 
So supernatural was her passion's rise ; 

For ne'er till now she knew a check'd desire : 
Even ye who know what a check'd woman is 
(Enough, God knows !) would much fall short of this. 


Her iMuc uiis but a minute's, and 'twas well — 
A moment's more had slain her ; but the while 

T» lasted 'twas like a short glimpse of hell : 
Nought's more sublime than energetic bile, 

(1) CMSL — ** And tiiiaitnNlgiecoMdcau«c (to tire no longer 

Your patiaiot) thowi theflrtt muat be ttill •tronger/'J 


Though horrible to see yet grand to tell, 

Like ocean warring 'gainst a rocky isle ; 
And the deep passions flashing through her form 
Made her a beautiful embodied storm. 

A vulgar tempest 'twere to a typhoon 

To match a common fury with her rage, 
And yet she did not want to reach the moon,(i) 

Like moderate Hotspur on the immortal page; (2) 
Her anger pitch'd into a lower tune, 

Perhaps the fault of her soft sex and age — 
Her wish was but to " kill, kill, kill," like Lear's, (;^) 
And then her thirst of blood was quench'd in tears. 


A storm it raged, and like the storm it pass'd, 
Pass'd without words — in fact she could not speak; 

And then her sex's shame ('*) broke in at last, 
A sentiment till then in her but weak. 

But now it flow'd in natural and fast. 
As water through an unexpected leak. 

For she felt humbled — and humiliation 

Is sometimes good for people in her station. 

(1) [" By heaven ! methinks, it were an easy leap. 

To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon." — Henry I F.^ 

(2) [MS. — " Like natural Shakspeare on the immortal pag&"] 

(3) [" And when I have stolen upon these sons-in-law. 

Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill." — icar.] 

(4) [*' A woman scorn'd is pitiless as (ate, 

For, there, the dread of shame adds stings to hate." — 

GiFFOED'* Juvenal.'] 



It teaches them tliat they are flesh and blood, 
It also gently hints to them that others, 

Although of clay, are yet not quite of mud ; 
That urns and pipkins are but fragile brothers. 

And works of the same pottery, bad or good, 
Though not all born of the same sires and mothers: 

It teaches — Heaven knows only what it teaches. 

But sometimes it may mend, and often reaches. (^) 


Her first thought was to cut off Juan's head ; 

Her second, to cut only his — acquaintance; 
Her third, to ask him where he had been bred ; 

Her fourth, to rally him into repentance ; 
Her fifth, to call her maids and go to bed ; 

Her sixth, to stab herself; her seventh, to sentence 
The lash to Baba: — but her grand resource 
Was to sit down again, and cry of course. 

She thought to stab herself, but then she had 
The dagger close at hand, which made it awkward; 

For Eastern stays are little made to pad. 
So that a poniard pierces if 'tis stuck hard: 

She thought of killing Juan — but, poor lad ! 
Though he deserved it well for being so backward, 

The cutting off his head was not the art 

Most likely to attain her aim— his heart. 

(1} [M5. — •* The iMMD BCDdi more rarely than it reacbea."J 



Juan was moved : he had made up his mind 
To be impaled, or quarter'd as a dish 

For dogs, Or to be slain with pangs refined, 
Or thrown to lions, or made baits for fish, 

And thus heroically stood resign'd, 

Rather than sin — except to his own wish: 

But all his great preparatives for dying 

Dissolved like snow before a woman crying. 


As through his palms Bob Acres' valour oozed, (^) 
So Juan's virtue ebb'd, I know not how ; 

And first he wonder'd why he had refused ; 
And then, if matters could be made up now ; 

And next his savage virtue he accused, 
Just as a friar may accuse his vow, 

Or as a dame repents her of her oath, 

Which mostly ends in some small breach of both. 


So he began to stammer some excuses ; 

But words are not enough in such a matter, 
Although you borrow'd all that e'er the muses 

Have sung, or even a Dandy's dandiest chatter, 
Or all the figures Castlereagh abuses ;(2) 

Just as a languid smile began to flatter 
His peace was making, but before he ventured 
Further, old Baba rather briskly enter'd. 

(1) 1^" Yes, my valour is certainly going ! it is sneaking ofFI — I feel it . 
oozing, as it were, at the palms of my hands ! " — Sheridan's Rivals.'] 

(2) [MS. — " Or all the stuff v?hich utter'd by the ' Blues ' is."] 

^vro T. DON JUAN. 113 


Bride of the Sun ! and Sister of the Moon !" 

(Twas thus he spake,) "and Empress of the Earth ! 
\\'hose frown would put the spheres all out of tune, 

Whose smile makes all the planets dance with mirth, 
^ our slave brings tidings — he hopes not too soon — 

Which your sublime attention may be worth : (J) 
The Sun(-) himself has sent me like a ray 
T.^ Lint that he is coming up this way." 


Is it," exclaim'd Gulbeyaz, " as you say? 
I wish to heaven he would not shine till morning ! 
But bid my women form the milky way. [ing — (^) 
Hence, my old comet! give the stars due warn- 
id, Christian I mingle with them as you may. 
And as you'd have me pardon your past scorn- 
ing " 

Here they were interrupted by a humming 
Sound, and then by a cry, " The Sultan's coming I" 


rst came her damsels, a decorous file, 
And then his Highness' eunuchs, black and white; 
I'lie train might reach a quarter of a mile: 
His majesty was always so polite 

{•/ r^-'i' ^— " it may be tco soon — 

But your sublime attention they are worth."] 

(S) [The puNIc style and title of the Sultan abound in Asiatic hyper- 
tiole He I* rallird ** Ooremor of the Earth, Lord of three Continents and 
Twn «^i,.- inl T„y frequently " Hunkier, the Slayer of Men."- Dall*. 

- t;ut pritbee — get my women in the way, 

That all the stars may gleam with due adorning 'J 


As to announce his visits a long while 
Before he came, especially at night ; 
For being the last wife of the Emperour, 
She was of course the favourite of the four. 


His Highness was a man of solemn port, 

Shawl'd to the nose, and bearded to the eyes, 

Snatch'd from a prison to preside at court, 
His lately bowstrung brother caused his rise ; 

He was as good a sovereign of the sort 
As any mention'd in the histories 

Of Cantemir, or Knolles, where few shine 

Save Solyman, the glory of their line. (') 

He went to mosque in state, and said his prayers 
Wit]i more than " Oriental scrupulosity ; "(2) 

He left to his vizier all state affairs. 
And show'd but little royal curiosity : 

I know not if he had domestic cares — 
No process proved connubial animosity ; 

Four wives and twice five hundred maids, unseen, 

Were ruled as calmly as a Christian queen. (3) 

(1) It may not be unworthy of remark, that Bacon, in his essay on 
" Empire," hints that Soiyman was the last of his line; on what authority, 
I know not. These are his words : — " The destruction of Mustapha was so 
fatal to Solyman 's line, as the succession of the Turks from Solyman, ur.tii 
this day, is suspected to be untrue, and of strange blood ; for that Selymus 
the second was thought to be supposititious." But Bacon, in his histo- 
rical authorities, is often inaccurate. I could give half a dozen instances 
from his Apophthegms only. [See Appendix to this Canto, p. 120. posi.2 

(2) [Gibbon.] 

(3) [MS. — " Because he kept them wrapt up in his closet, he 

Ruled four wives and twelve hundred whores, unseen. 
More easily than Christian kings one queen."] 



1 i now and then there happen'd a slight slip, 
Little was heard of criminal or crime ; 

The story scarcely pass'd a single lip — 
The sack and sea had settled all in time, 

From which the secret nobody could rip : 

Tlie Public knew no more than does this rhyme ; 

No scandals made the daily press a curse — 

"florals were better, and the fish no worse. (') 


He saw with his own eyes the moon was round, 
Was also certain that the earth was square. 

Because he had journey'd fifty miles, and found 
No sign that it was circular any where ; 

His empire also was without a bound : 
'Tis true, a little troubled here and there. 

By rebel pachas, and encroaching giaours. 

But tln'ii they never came to "the Seven Towers; "(2) 

vi; L •'*"'• — ' There ended many a fair Sultana's trip : 

The Public knew no more than does this rhyme 
No printed scandals flew — the fish, of course. 
Were better — while the morals were no worse,"] ^ 

(J) [The itate prison of Constantinople, in which the Porte shuts up the 
ministcra of huttilc powers who are dilatory in taking their departure, 
under pretence of protecting them from the insults of the mob. — Hope. 

Wc attempted to vUit the Seven Towers, but were stopped at the 
tntranec, and Informed that without a firman it was inaccessible to 
Mrangert. It wa« luppoted that Count Bulukoff, the Russian minister, 
would ho the la*t of the Mou$$afirs, or imperial hostages, confined in this 
fortrt-u ; but .inccthc year 1784, M. Ruffin and many of the French have 
been impriaoned in the »ame place ; and the dungeons were gaping, it 
Mona, for the lacred pcnons of the gentlemen composing his Britannic 
M^ertj'a mUfioo, preriout to the rupture between Great Britain and the 
Porte in 180P. — HoaRount.3 

I 2 



Except in shape of envoys, who were sent 

To lodge there when a war broke out, according 

To the true law of nations, which ne'er meant 
Those scoundrels, who have never had a sword in 

Their dirty diplomatic hands, to vent 

Tlieir spleen in making strife, and safely wording 

Their lies, yclep'd despatches, without risk or 

The singeing of a single inky whisker. 


He had fifty daughters and four dozen sons. 
Of whom all such as came of age were stow'd, 

The former in a palace, where like nuns 

They lived till some Bashaw was sent abroad, 

When she, whose turn it was, was wed at once. 
Sometimes at six years old (^) — though this seems 

'Tis true ; the reason is, that the Bashaw [odd, 

Must make a present to his sire in law. 


His sons were kept in prison, till they grew 
Of years to fill a bowstring or the throne, 

One or the other, but which of the two 
Could yet be known unto the fates alone ; 

Meantime the education they went through 

Was princely, as the proofs have always shown : 

So that the heir apparent still was found 

No less deserving to be hang'd than crown'd. 

(1) [" The princess " (Sulta Asma, daughter of Achmet III.) " exclaimed 
against the barbarity of the institution which, at six years old, had put her 
in the power of a decrepid old man, who, by treating her like a child, had 
only inspired disgust" — De Tott.] 


cxvTor. DON JUAN. 117 


His Majesty saluted his fourth spouse 

Witli all the ceremonies of his rank, [brows, 

Who clear'd her sparkling eyes and smooth'd her 

As suits a matron who has play'd a prank ; 
These must seem doubly mindful of their vows, 

To save the credit of their breaking bank : 
To no men are such cordial greetings given 
As those whose wives have made them fit for heaven. 


His Highness cast around his great black eyes. 
And looking, as he always look'd, perceived 

Juan amongst the damsels in disguise. 

At which he seem'd no whit surprised nor grieved, 

But just remark'd with air sedate and wise, 
While still a fluttering sigh Gulbeyaz heaved, 

" I see you've bought another girl ; 'tis pity 

That a mere Christian should be half so pretty." 


This compliment, which drew all eyes upon 

ITie new-bought virgin, made her blush and shake. 

Her comrades, also, thought themselves undone : 
Oh I Mahomet I that his Majesty should take 

Such notice of a giaour, while scarce to one 
Of them his lips imperial ever spake ! 

Tliere was a general whisper, toss, and wriggle, 

But etiquette forbade them all to giggle. 
I 3 



The Turks do well to shut — at least, sometimes — 

The women up — because, in sad reality. 
Their chastity in these unhappy climes 

Is not a thing of that astringent quality 
Which in the North prevents precocious crimes, 

'And makes our snow less pure than our morality ; 
The sun, which yearly melts the polar ice, 
vHas quite the contrary effect on vice. 


Thus in the East they are extremely strict, 
And Wedlock and a Padlock mean the same ; 

Excepting only when the former's pick'd 
It ne'er can be replaced in proper frame ; 

Spoilt, as a pipe of claret is when prick'd : 
But then their own Polygamy's to blame ; 

Why don't they knead two virtuous souls for life 

Into that moral centaur, man and wife?(i) 


Thus far our chronicle ; and now we pause. 
Though not for want of matter; but 'tis time. 

According to the ancient epic laws. 

To slacken sail, and anchor with our rhyme. 

(1) [This stanza — which Lord Byron composed in bed, Feb. 27. 1821, 
(see aw/^, Vol. V. p. 107.) is not in the first edition. On discovering the 
omission, he thus remonstrated with Mr. Murray : — " Upon what princi- 
ple have yoH omitted one of the concluding stanzas sent as an addition? — 
^because it ended, I suppose, with — 

'.And do not link two virtuous souls for life 
Into that moral centaur, man and wife ? ' 
" Now, I must say, once for all, that I will not permit any human being 
to take such liberties with my writings because I am absent I desire the 


Let this fifth canto meet with due applause, 

The sixth shall have a touch of the sublime ; 
Meanwhile, as Homer sometimes sleeps, perhaps 
You'll pardon to my muse a few short naps.(^) 

omiasion to be replaced. I have read over the poem carefully, and I tell 
you, ii is poetry. The litUe envious knot of parson-poets may say what 
they please: time will show that I am not, in this instance, mistaken."^ 

(1) Blackwood «ay«, in Na LXV., for June,1822, " These three Cantos (III. 
IV. V.) are, like all Byron's poems, and, by the way, like every thing in 
this world, partly good and partly bad. In the particular descriptions they 
tat not so naughty as their predecessors : indeed, his lordship has been so 
pretty and welUbehaved on the present occasion, that we should not be 
nupciaed to hear of the work being detected among the thread cases, 
flower-pots, and cheap tracts that litter the drawing-room tables of some 
of the best regulated families. By those, however, who suspect him of 
" a strange design 

" Against the creed and morals of the land. 
And trace it in this poem every line," 

It will be found as bad as ever. He shows his knowledge of the world too 
openly; and it is no extenuation of this freedom that he does it play- 
fttUy. Only infants can be shown naked in company ; but his lordship 
pulls the very robe-de-chambre from both men and women, and goes on 
with his exposure as smirkingly as a barrister cross-questioning a chamber- 
maid io a case of erim. con. This, as nobody can approve, we must confess 
is Tery bad. Still, it is harsh to ascribe to wicked motives what may be 
owing to the temptations of circumstances, or the headlong impulse of 
pMslon. Even the worst habits should be charitably considered, for they 
are often the result of the slow but irresistible force of nature, over the 
artiflcial manners and discipline of society — the flowing stream that 
wastes away its embankments. Man towards his fellow man should be at 
IfMtt compassionate; for he can be no judge of the instincts and the im- 
pulses of action, be can only see effects. 

*• Tremble, thou wretch. 

That hast within thee undivulged crimes, 

Unwhipp'd of juitice : Hide thee, thou blootly hand ; — 

Thou perjured, and thou simular man of virtue 

Thou art incestuous : Caitiff, to pieces shake. 

That under covert and convenient seeming 

Hast practised on man's life ! — Close penUup guilts, 

Rl»e your concealing continents, and cry 

These drea«lful summoniTs trr.iro " — f.far.Z 

J ! 




(See anti, p. 114. note 1.) 


Michael Angelo, the famous 
painter, painting in the pope's cha- 
pel the portraiture of hell and 
damned souls, made one of the 
damned souls so like a cardinal that 
was his enemy, as every body at first 
sight knew it ; whereupon the car- 
dinal complained to Pope Clement, 
humbly praying it might be defaced. 
The pope said to him. Why, you 
know very well I have power to de- 
liver a soul out of purgatory, but 
not out of hell. 

Alexander, after the battle of 
Granicum, had very great offers 
made him by Darius. Consulting 
with his captains concerning them, 
Parmenio said. Sure, I would accept 
of these offers, if I were as Alex- 
ander. Alexander answered. So 
would T, if I were as Parmenio. 


This was not the portrait of a car- 
dinal, but of the pope's master of 
the ceremonies. 

It was after the battle of Issus 
and during the siege of Tyre, and 
not immediately after the passage of 
the Granicus, that this is said to 
have occurred. 

(1) " Ordered Fletcher (at four o'clock this afternoon) to copy out seven 
or eight apophthegms of Bacon, in which I have detected such blunders as 
a schoolboy might detect, rather than commit. Such are the sages ! What 
must they be, when such as I can stumble on their mistakes or mis-state- 
ments? I will go to bed, for I find that I grow cynical." — £. Diary, Jan. 5. 




A Qtigonui, when it was told him 

ttiat the enemy had such volleys of 

•Rowa, that they did hide the sun, 

•aid. That falls out well, for it is hot 

, and so we shall fight in the 

There was a philosopher that dis. 
putad with Adrian the Emperor, 
•ad did it but weakly. One of his 
Mends that stood by, afterwards 
Mid unto him, Methinks you were 
not like yourself last day, in argu. 
Bcnt with the Emperor : I could 
have anaweret^ better myself. Why, 
•aid the philoaopher, would you 
hava Bie eontend with him that 
PMiwanili thirty legions ? 

Thcte was one that found a great 
matt of money digged under ground 
in his grandfather's house, and being 
•oowwhat doubtful of the case, sig- 
niflcd it to the emperor that he had 
fbond such treasure. The emperor 
made a rescript thus : Use it He 
writ back again, that the sum was 
greater than bis state or condition 
could use The emperor writ a new 
, thus : Abuse it 


One of the aeraa waa wont to say, 

that laws were like cobwebs : where 

the MoaU lica ware caught, and the 

• This was not said by Antigonus, 
but by a Spartan, previously to the 
battle of Thermopylae. 

This happened under Augustus 
Cxsar, and not during the reign of 

This happened to the father of 
Herodes Atticus, and the answer 
was made by the emperor NervOy 
who deserved that his name should 
have been stated by the " greatest— 
wisest — meanest of manlund."(l) 

This was said by Anacharsis the 
Scythian, and not by a Greek. 

tirator of Athens said to De- 
mrxthcnca. The Athenians will 
kilt you if they wax mad. Demo. 
Mbcoci replied. And they will kiU 
fon, if they be in good senaa 

This was not said by Demosthenes, 
but to Demosthenes by Phocion, 

(1) C" If part* anurc thee, think how Bacon shined. 

The wi a a rt , brightest, meanest of mankind." — Pope] 



There was a philosopher about 
Tiberius that, looking into the na- 
ture of Caius, said of him. That he 
was mire mingled with blood. 

There was a king of Hungary 
took a bishop in battle, and kept 
him prisoner; whereupon the pope 
writ a monitory to him, for that he 
had broken the privilege of holy 
church and taken his son : the king 
sent an embassage to him, and sent 
withal the armour wherein the 
bishop was taken, and this only in 
writing — Vide num hccc sit vestis 
filiitui? Know now whether this 
be thy son's coat? 

Demetrius, king of Macedon, had 
a petition offered him divers times 
by an old woman, and answered he 
had no leisure ; whereupon the wo- 
man said aloud, Why then give over 
to be king. 

This was not said of Caius (Cali- 
gula, I presume, is intended by 
Caius), but of Tiberius himself. 

This reply was not made by a 
King of Hungary, but sent by 
Richard the first, Coeur de Lion, of 
England to the Pope, with the 
breastplate of the bishop of Beau- 

This did tw)^ happen to Demetrius, 
but to Philip King of Macedon. 


Having stated that Bacon was frequently incorrect in his citations from 
history, I have thought it necessary in what regards so great a name (how- 
ever trifling), to support the assertion by such facts as more immediately 
occur to me. They are but trifles, and yet for such trifles a schoolboy 
would be whipped (if still in the fourth form) ; and Voltaire for half a 
dozen similar errors has been treated as a superficial writer, notwithstand- 
ing the testimony of the learned Warton : — " Voltaire, a writer of much 
deeper research than is imagined, and the first who has displayed the liter- 
ature and customs of the dark ages with any degree of penetration and 
comprehension." (1) For another distinguished testimony to Voltaire's 
merits in literary research, see also Lord Holland's excellent Account of 
the Life and Writings of Lope de Vega, vol. i. p. 215. edition of 1817. (2) 

(1) Dissertation L 

(2) [Till Voltaire appeared, there was no nation more ignorant cf its 
neighbours' literature than the French. He first exposed, and then cor- 
rected, this neglect in his countrymen. There is no writer to whom the 
authors of other nations, especially of England, are so indebted for the 
extension of their fame in France, and, through France, in Europe. There 



VoHaire has even been termed " a shallow fellow," by some of the same 
who called Drydcn's Ode " a drunken song ; " — a school (as it is 
. I prerame, from their education being still incomplete) the whole 
of wbow filthy trash of Epics, Excursions, &c. &c. &c. is not worth the 
i in Zaire, " fouspleurcz," (1) or a single speech of Tancred : — a 
the apostate lives of whose renegadoes, with their tea-drinking 
BCDtnlity of morals, and their convenient treachery in politics — in the 
Reocd of their accumulated pretences to virtue can produce no actions 
(were all their good deeds drawn up in array) to equal or approach the 
ade defence of the family of Calas, by that great and unequalled genius — 
the universal Voltaire. 

I have ventured to remark on these little inaccuracies of " the greatest 
geniiu that England or perhaps any other country ever produced," (2) 
to ihow our national injustice in condemning general!;/, the 
genius of France for such inadvertencies as these, of which the 
highest of England has been no less guilty. Query, was Bacon a greater 
inteUccC than Newton ? 

Being in the humour of criticism, I shall proceed, after having ventured 
upon the slips of Bacon, to touch upon one or two as trifling in the edition 

it DO critic who has employed more time, wit, ingenuity, and diligence in 
the literary intercourse between country and country, and in 
in one language the triumphs of another. Yet, by a strange 
flrtallty, he is constantly represented as the enemy of all literature but his 
own ; and Spaniards, Englishmen, and Italians vie with each other in in- 
veighing against his occasional exaggeration of faulty passages ; the authors 
of which, till he pointed out their beauties, were hardly known beyond the 
In which their language was s{X)kcn. Those who feel such indig. 
at his misrepresentations and oversights, would find it difficult to 
produce a critic in any modern language, who, in speaking of foreign liter- 
ature, ia better informed or more candid than Voltaire; and they certainly 
D«rcr would be able to discover one, who to those qualities unites so much 
aagadtj and liveliness. His enemies would fain persuade us that such 
exuberance of wit implies a want of information ; but they only succeed 
in showing that a want of wit by no means implies an exuberance of in- 
fonnatioo.— Loan Holland.] 

(*) " 11 est trop vral que I'honneur me I'ordonne, 

Que Je voua adorai, que je vous abandonne. 
Que Je rcnooce k vous, que vous le desirez, 
Que sous une autre loi . . . Zaire, vous pleurez ? "— 

Zaire, acte iv. sc. iL 
(8) Pope, In Spcooe^ Anecdotes, p. 158. Malone's edition. 
(S) [" Read CanpbeU^s Poets. Corrected Tom's slips of the pen. A good 
work, though —style aflkcted— but his defence of Pope is glorious. To be 
Mre, it U his ovm cause too, — but no matter, it is very good, and does 
hha gnat credit."— A Diarjf, Jan. 10. 1821] 


of the British Poets, by the justly celebrated Campbell But I do this in 
good will, and trust it will be so taken. If any thing could add to my 
opinion of the talents and true feeling of that gentleman, it would be his 
classical, honest, and triumphant defence of Pope, against the vulgar cant 
of the day, and its existing Grub-Street. 
The inadvertencies to which I allude are, — 

Firstly, in speaking of Anstcy, whom he accuses of having taken " his 
leading characters from Smollett." Anstey's Bath Guide was published 
in 176a Smollett's Humphry Clinker (the only work of Smollett's from 
which Tabitha, &c. &c. could have been taken) was written during 
S??iollett's last residence at Leghorn in 1770. — " Argal," if there has been 
any borrowing, Anstey must be the creditor, and not the debtor. I refer 
Mr. Campbell to his own data in his lives of Smollett and Anstey. 

Secondly, Mr. Campbell says in the life of Cowper (note to page 358. 
vol. vii.) that he knows not to whom Cowper alludes in these lines : — 

" Nor he who, for the bane of thousands born. 
Built God a church, and laugh 'd his word to scorn." 

The Calvinist meant Voltaire, and the church of Ferney, with its 
inscription " Deo erexit Voltaire." 

Thirdly, in the life of Burns, Mr. Campbell quotes Shakspeare thus : — 

" To gild refined gold, to paint the rose. 
Or add fresh perfume to the violet" 

This version by no means improves the original, which is as follows : — 

" To gild refined gold, to paint the lily. 
To throw a perfume on the violet," &c, — King John. 

A great poet quoting another should be correct : ho should also be 
accurate, when he accuses a Parnassian brother of that dangerous charge 
" borrowing:" a poet had better borrow any thing (excepting money) 
than the thoughts of another — they are always sure to be reclaimed ; but 
it is very hard, having been the lender, to be denounced as the debtor, as 
is the case of Anstey versus Smollett. 

As there is " honour amongst thieves," let there be some amongst 
poets, and give each his due, — none can afFord to give it more than 
Mr. Campbell himself, who, with a high reputation for originality, and a 
fame which cannot be shaken, is the only poet of the times (except Rogers) 
who can be reproached (and in him it is indeed a reproach) with having 
written too little. 

Ravenna, Jan. 5. 1821. 



,1) j^». .ii.u.s \ 1. VIL and VIII. were written at Pisa, in 1892, and pub- 
lished by Mr. John Hunt in July, 1823. The poet's resumption of Don 
Jiuu) is explained in the following extract from his correspondence : — 

Pii», July 8. 1822. — " It is not impossible that I may have three or four 
I of Don Juan ready by autumn, or a little later, as I obtained a per. 
im my dictatress to continue it, — provided always it was to be 
more guarded and decorous and sentimental in the continuation than in 
the oommencement How far these conditions have been fulfilled may be 
•ecn. perhap*, by and by ; but the embargo was only taken off upon these 
•UimUtioia." — £.] 




The details of the siege of Ismail in two of the 
following cantos (i. e. the seventh and eighth) are 
taken from a French Work, entitled " Histoire de la 
Nouvelle Russie." ( ' ) Some of the incidents attributed 
to Don Juan really occurred, particularly the cir- 
cumstance of his saving the infant, which was the ac- 
tual case of the late Due de Richelieu, (2) then ayoung 
volunteer in the Russian service, and afterward the 
founder and benefactor of Odessa, (•^) where his name 

(1) ['♦ Euai sur I'Histoire ancienne et moderne de la Nouvelle Russie, 
par le Marquis Gabriel de Castelnau." 3 torn. Paris, 1820.] 

(2 [*' Au commencement de 1803, le Due de Richelieu flit nommegouver- 
ncur d'Odeua. Quand le Due vint en prendre I'administration, aucune 
rue n'jr ftait form^e, aucun <'tablissement n'y ctait achev^. On y 
comptait a peine cinq mille hal)itans : onze ans plus tard, lorsqu'il s'eK 
^loiKna, '^' 'lit trente-cinq milies. Les rues etaient tirees au 

cordeau, . double rang d'arbres ; et Ton y voyait tous les 

^tablisacfr. . ^ nt le culte, I'instruction, la commodity, et memo 
Im pUistra dct habiUns. Un seul edifice public avait ete n^glig^ ; le 
fouvemeur, dam cet oubli de lui-mcme, et cette simplicity de moeurs 
qui divtingtiaient ion caracttre, n'avait ricn voulu changer k la modeste 
babitaiion qu'il avait trouvfe en arrivant. I>e commerce, d^barass^ 
d'entraves, avait pris I'eisor le plus rapidc Ji Odessa, tandis que la seen- 
rM et la liberty de conscience y avaicnt promptement attire la popu- 
lation."— 5iojr. C/'n/p.] 

(S) [Odessa U a very interesting place ; and being the seat of govern, 
■wnt, and the only quarantine allowe<l except CaflTa and Taganrog, J«, 
though of very recent erection, already wealthy and flourishing. Too 
much praise cannot be given to the Duke of Richelieu, to wJiose admi. 
nUtration, not to any natural advantages, this town owes its prosperity. — 

iMior IIe»bb.3 


and memory can never cease to be regarded with 

In the course of these cantos, a stanza or two 
will be found relative to the late Marquis of Lon- 
donderry, but written some time before his de- 
cease. Had that person's oligarchy died with him, 
they would have been suppressed; as it is, I am 
aware of nothing in the manner of his death ("*) or of 

(I) [Robert, second Marquis of Londonderry, died, by his own hand, 
at his seat at North Cray, in Kent, in August, 1822. During the session 
of parhament which had just closed, his lordship appears to have sunk 
under the weight of his labours, and insanity was the consequence. The 
following tributes to his eminent qualities we take from the leading Tory 
and "Whig newspapers of the day : — 

" Of high honour, fearless, undaunted, and firm in his resolves, he com- 
bined, in a remarkable manner, with the fortiter in re the suaviter in modo. 
To his political adversaries (and he had no other) he was at once open, 
frank, unassuming, and consequently conciliatory. He was happy in his 
union with a most amiable consort ; he was the pride of a venerated 
father ; and towards a beloved brother it might truly be said he was notus 
animo fraterno. 

" With regard to his public character, all admit his talents to have 
been of a high order, and his industry in the discharge of his official 
duties to have been unremitting. Party animosity may question the 
wisdom of measures in which he was a principal actor, to save its own 
consistency, but it does not dare to breathe a doubt of his integrity and 
honour. His reputation as a minister is, however, above the reach of both 
friends and enemies. He was one of the leaders of that ministry which 
preserved the country from being subjugated by a power which subjugated 
all the rest of Europe — which fought the country against combined 
Europe, and triumphed — and which wrenched the sceptre of dominion 
from the desolating principles that the French revolution spread through 
the world, and restored it to religion and honesty. If to have preserved 
the faith and liberties of England from destruction — to have raised her to 
the most magnificent point of greatness — to have liberated a quarter of 
the globe from a despotism which bowed down both body and soul — and to 
have placed the world again under the control of national law and just 
principles, be transcendent fame — such fame belongs to this ministry; 
and, of all its members, to none more than to the Marquis of London- 
derry. During great part of the year, he toiled frequently for twelve or 
fourteen hours per day at the most exhausting of all kinds of labour, for 
a salary which, unaided by private fortune, would not have supported him. 
He laboured for thirty years in the service of the country. In this service 


his life to prevent the free expression of the opinions 
of all whom his whole existence was consumed in 
endeavouring to enslave. That he was an amiable 
man in private life, may or may not be true : but 
with this the public have nothing to do ; and as to 
lamenting his death, it will be time enough when 
Ireland has ceased to mourn for his birth. As a 
minister, I, for one of millions, looked upon him as 
the most despotic in intention, and the weakest in 
intellect, that ever tyrannised over a country. It is 
the first time indeed since the Normans that England 
has been insulted by a minister (at least) who could 
not speak English, and that parliament permitted 
itself to be dictated to in the language of Mrs. 

Of the manner of his death little need be said, ex- 
cept that if a poor radical, such as Waddington or 
Watson, had cut his throat, he would have been 

be ruined a robust constitution, broke a lofty spirit, destroyed a first-rate 
f lodentanding, and met an untimely death, without adding a shilling to 
hia patrimonial fortuna What the country gained from him may never 
be calculated — what he gained from the country was lunacy, and a 
nurtyr'* grave." — Kew Timet. 

** Lord IxHidonderry was a man of unassuming manners, of simple 
taitc«, and 'to far at regarded private life) of kind and generous disposi- 
tion. Towards the poor he was beneficent : in his family mild, considerate, 
and forbearing. He was firm to the connections and associates of his earlier 
day*, not only thote of choice, but of accident, when not unworthy ; 
and to pcamote tiMB, and to advance their interests, his efibrts were sin- 
cere and IndefatigiMe. In power he forgot no service rendered to him 
while he was In a private station, nor broke any promise, expressed or im. 
plied, nor aba n doned any friend who claimed and merited his assistance."— 

i; [See Sheridan's comedy of " The Rivals."] 


buried in a cross-road, with the usual appurtenances 
of the stake and mallet. But the minister was an 
elegant lunatic — a sentimental suicide — he merely 
cut the "carotid artery," (blessings on their learning!) 
and lo ! the pageant, and the Abbey ! and " the syl- 
lables of dolour yelled forth" by the newspapers — 
and the harangue of the Coroner(i) in a eulogy over 
the bleeding body of the deceased — (an Anthony 
worthy of such a Caesar) — and the nauseous and 
atrocious cant of a degraded crew of conspirators 
against all that is sincere and honourable. In his 
death he was necessarily one of two things by the 
law(^) — a felon or a madman — and in either case 
no great subject for panegyric. (^) In his life he was 

(Vi [Lord Byron seems to have taken his notions of the proceedings of 
this inquest from Cobbett's Register. What the Coroner really did say 
was as follows : — " As a public man, it is impossible for me to weigh his 
character in any scales that I can hold. In private life I believe the world 
will admit that a more amiable man could not be found. Whether the 
important duties of the great office which he held pressed upon his mind, 
and conduced to the melancholy event which you are assembled to inves- 
tigate, is a circumstance which, in all probability, never can be discovered. 
If it should unfortunately appear that there is not sufficient evidence to 
prove what is generally considered the indication of a disordered mind, I 
trust that the jury will pay some attention to my humble opinion, which 
is, that no man can be in his proper senses at the moment he com- 
mits so rash an act as self-murder. My opinion is in consonance with 
every moral sentiment, and the information which the wisest of men 
have given to the world. The Bible declares that a man clings to nothing 
so strongly as his own life. I therefore view it as an axiom, and an 
abstract principle, that a man must necessarily be out of his mind at the 
moment of destroying himself." — E.] 

(2) I say by the law of the land — the laws of humanity judge more 
gently ; but as the legitimates have always the law in their mouths, let 
them here make the most of it 

(3) [Upon this passage one of the magazines of the time observes : 
" Lord Byron does not appear to have remembered that it is quite pos- 
sible for an English nobleman to be both (in fact) a felon, and (what in 
common parlance is called) a madman."] 


— what all the world knows, and half of it will feel 
for years to come, unless his death prove a " moral 
lesson" to the surviving Sejani(') of Europe. It 
may at least serve as some consolation to the nations, 
that their oppressors are not happy, and in some in- 
stances judge so justly of their own actions as to an- 
ticipate the sentence of mankind. — Let us hear no 
more of this man ; and let Ireland remove the ashes 
of her Grattan from the sanctuary of Westminster. 
Shall the patriot of humanity repose by the Werther 
of politics ! ! I 

With regard to the objections which have been 
made on another score to the already published cantos 
of this poem, I shall content myself with two quota- 
tions from Voltaire: — " La pudeur s'est enfuite des 
occurs, et s'est refugiee sur les levres." .... '' Plus 
les moeurs sont depraves, plus les expressions de- 
viennent mesurees; on croit regagner en langage 
ce qu'on a perdu en vertu." 

This is the real fact, as applicable to the degraded 
and hypocritical mass which leavens the present En- 
glish generation, and is the only answer they deserve. 
The hackneyed and lavished title of Blasphemer — 
which, with Radical, Liberal, Jacobin, Reformer, &c. 
are the changes which the hirelings are daily ringing 

the ears of those who will listen — should be wel- 
come to all who recollect on whom it was originally 
bestowed. Socrates and Jesus Christ were put to 

(I) Ffxnn thb number miut be excepted Canning. Canning is a genius, 
almoct a univcnal one, an orator, a wit, a poet, a statesman ; and no man 
of talent can long pursue the path of his late predecessor, Lord C. If ever 
oua saved his country, Canning can^ but tcill he ? I, for one, hope so. 

K 2 


death publicly as hlasphemersy and so have been 
and may be many who dare to oppose the most 
notorious abuses of the name of God and the mind 
of man. But persecution is not refutation, nor even 
triumph : the " wretched infidel," as he is called, is 
probably happier in his prison than the proudest of 
his assailants. With his opinions I have nothing to 
do — they may be right or wrong — but he has 
suffered for them, and that very suffering for 
conscience' sake will make more proselytes to deism 
than the example of heterodox (i) Prelates to 
Christianity, suicide statesmen to oppression, or over- 
pensioned homicides to the impious alliance which 
insults the world with the name of " Holy ! " I have 
no wish to trample on the dishonoured or the dead ; 
but it would be well if the adherents to the classes 
from whence those persons sprung should abate a 
little of the cant which is the crying sin of this 
double-dealing and false-speaking time of selfish 
spoilers, and but enough for the present. 

Pisch July, 1822. 

(1) When Lord Sandwich said " he did not know the difference between 
orthodoxy and heterodoxy," Warburton, the bishop, replied, " Orthodoxy, 
mylord, iswiy rfoi'y, and heterodoxy is another man^s doxy." A prelate 
of the present day has discovered, it seems, a third kind of doxy, which 
has not greatly exalted in the eyes of the elect that which Bentham calls 
" Church-of-Englandism.", 





" There is a tide in the affairs of men 
WTiich, taken at the flood/' — you know the rest,(^) 

And most of us have found it now and then ; 
At least we think so, though but few have guess'd 

The moment, till too late to come again. 
But no doubt every thing is for the best — 

Of which the surest sign is in the end : 

When things are at the worst they sometimes mend. 

There is a tide in the affairs of women 

Which, taken at the flood, leads — Godknows where : 
Those navigators must be able seamen 

Whose charts lay down its current to a hair ; 
Not all the reveries of Jacob Behmen (2) 

With its strange whirls and eddies can compare : 
Men with their heads reflect on this and that — 
But women with their hearts on heaven knows what I 

I See Sbakspcare, JuHtu Cmar, act ir. bc. iii. 

-J [A ?»ot«d viaionarjr, bom near Gtirlitz, In Upper Lusatia, in 1575, and 
ftxindcr of the tcct called Bchmenitcs. He had numerous followers in 
Germany, and has not been without admirers in England ; one of these, 
the famous William Law, author of the " Serious Call," edited an e<lltioa 
of his works.] 

K 3 


And yet a headlong, headstrong, downright she, 

Young, beautiful, and daring — who would risk 
A throne, the world, the universe, to be 

Beloved in her own way, and rather whisk 
The stars from out the sky, than not be free 

As are the billows when the breeze is brisk — 
Though such a she's a devil (if that there be one) 
Yet she would make full many a Manichean. 


Thrones, worlds, et cetera, are so oft upset 
By commonest ambition, tliat when passion 

O'erthrows the same, we readily forget. 
Or at the least forgive, the loving rash one. 

If Anthony be well remember 'd yet, 

'Tis not his conquests keep his name in fashion, 

But Actium, lost for Cleopatra's eyes, 

Outbalances all Caesar's victories. 


He died at fifty for a queen of forty ; 

I wish their years had been fifteen and twenty, 
For then wealth, kingdoms, worlds are but a sport — I 

Remember when, though I had no great plenty 
Of worlds to lose, yet still, to pay my court, I 

Gave what I had — a heart : as the world went, I 
Gave what was worth a world ; for worlds could never 
Restore me those pure feelings, gone for ever. 



'Twas the boy's "mite," and, like the "widow's," may 
Perhaps be weigh'd hereafter, if not now ; 

But whether such things do or do not weigh. 
All who have loved, or love, will still allow 

Life has nought like it. God is love, they say. 
And Love's a God, or was before the brow 

Of earth was wrinkled by the sins and tears 

Of — but Chronology best knows the years. 


We left our hero and third heroine in 

A kind of state more awkward than uncommon. 

For gentlemen must sometimes risk their skin 
For that sad tempter, a forbidden woman : 

Sultans too much abhor this sort of sin. 

And don't agree at all with the wise Roman, 

Heroic, stoic Cato, the sententious. 

Who lent his lady to his friend Hortensius. Q) 


I know Gulbeyaz was extremely wrong ; 

I own it, I deplore it, I condemn it ; 
But I detest all fiction even in song, 

And so must tell the truth, howe'er you blame it. 
Her reason being weak, her passions strong. 

She thought that her lord's heart (even could she 
claim it) 
Was scarce enough ; for he had fifty-nine 
Years, and a fifteen-hundredth concubine. 

(I) C«to gSTC up htowife Martia to his friend Horteinius ; but, on the 

dMth of the Utter, took her back again. This conduct was ridiculed by 

K 4 



I am not, like Cassio, " an arithmetician," 
But by " the bookish theoric"(^) it appears. 

If 'tis summ'd up with feminine precision. 

That, adding to the account his Highness' years. 

The fair Sultana err'd from inanition ; 
For, were the Sultan just to all his dears. 

She could but claim the fifteen-hundredth part 

Of what should be monopoly — the heart. 


It is observed that ladies are litigious 

Upon all legal objects of possession. 
And not the least so when they are religious, 

Which doubles what they think of the trans- 
gression : 
With suits and prosecutions they besiege us. 

As the tribunals show through many a session, 
When they suspect that any one goes shares 
In that to which the law makes them sole heirs. 


Now if this holds good in a Christian land, 
The heathen also, though with lesser latitude, 

Are apt to carry things with a high hand, 

And take, what kings call " an imposing attitude ;" 

the Romans, who observed, that Martia entered the house of Hortensius 
very poor, but returned to the bed of Cato loaded with treasures. — Plu- 

(1) £" Forsooth, a great arithmetician. 

One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, 

That never set a squadron in the field. 

Nor the division of a battle knows 

More than a spinster ; unless the bookish theoric," &c 



And tor their rights connubial make a stand, [tude : 
Wlien their Hege husbands treat them with ingrati- 
And as four wives must have quadruple claims, 
The Tigris hath its jealousies like Thames. 


Gulbeyaz was the fourth, and (as I said) 

The favourite; but what's favour amongst four? 

Polygamy may well be held in dread. 
Not only as a sin, but as a bore : 

Most wise men with otie moderate woman wed, 
Will scarcely find philosophy for more ; 

And all (except Mahometans) forbear 

fo make the nuptial couch a '• Bed of Ware."(^) 


His Highness, the sublimest of mankind, — 

So styled according to the usual forms 
Of every monarch, till they are consign'd 

To those sad hungry jacobins the worms, (2) 
Who on the very loftiest kings have dined, — 

His Highness gazed upon Gulbeyaz' charms, 
l.xpecting all the welcome of a lover 

V " Highland welcome "P) all the wide world over). 

(1) [*• At Ware, the inn known by the sign of the Saracen's Head still 
contain* the Auaoui Arrf, measuring twelve feet square, to which an allu- 
•ion u made by Shakspesre in ' Twelfth Night'."— Clutterbick'* Hert- 
ford, vol JiL p. 285.] 

(2) " Stmt worm W your only emperor for diet : we fat all creatures 
dw, to fat u« ; and we fat ouraclret for maggoU. Your fat king, and your 
leu beggar, ii but variable service ; two dishes but to one table : that's 
the MmL"— HamUL 

(S) .See Warerley. 



Now here we should distinguish ; for howe'er 
Kisses, sweet words, embraces, and all that, 

May look like what is — neither here nor there, 
They are put on as easily as a hat, 

Or rather bonnet, which the fair sex wear, 
Trimm'd either heads or hearts to decorate. 

Which form an ornament, but no more part 

Of heads, than their caresses of the heart. 


A slight blush, a soft tremor, a calm kinS 
Of gentle feminine delight, and shown 

More in the eyelids than the eyes, resign'd 
Rather to hide what pleases most unknown, 

Are the best tokens (to a modest mind) 

Of love, when seated on his loveliest throne, 

A sincere woman's breast, — for over-warm 

Or over-cold annihilates the charm. 


For over-warmth, if false, is worse than truth ; 

If true, 'tis no great lease of its own fire ; 
For no one, save in very early youth. 

Would like (I think) to trust all to desire, 
Which is but a precarious bond, in sooth. 

And apt to be transferr'd to the first buyer 
At a sad discount : while your over chilly 
Women, on t'other hand, seem somewhat silly. 



That is, we cannot pardon their bad taste, 
For so it seems to lovers swift or slow, 

WTio fain would have a mutual flame confess'd, 
And see a sentimental passion glow, 

Even were St. Francis' paramour their guest. 
In his monastic concubine of snow; — Q) 

In short, the maxim for the amorous tribe is 

HoVatian, " Medio tu tutissimus ibis." 


The " tu'"s too much, — but let it stand, — the verse 
Requires it, that's to say, the English rhyme, 

And not the pink of old hexameters ; 

But, after all, there's neither tune nor time 

In the last line, which cannot well be worse. 
And was thrust in to close the octave's chime : 

I own no prosody can ever rate it 

As a rule, but truth may, if you translate it. 


If fair Gulbeyaz overdid her part, 

I know not — it succeeded, and success 

Is much in most things, not less in the heart 
Than other articles of female dress. 

(1) " The blcMed Franria, being strongly jolicited one day by the emo- 
tion* of the fl«h, pulled off his clothes and scourged himself soundly : 
being after this inflamed with a wonderful fervour of mind, he plunged 
his naked body into a great heap of snow. The devil, being overcome, 
retired immediately, and the holy man returned victorious into his cell' 
— 8cc Btm.Ba'« Li9ft of the SainU. 


Self-love in man, too, beats all female art ; 
They lie, we lie, all lie, but love no less : 
And no one virtue yet, except starvation, 
Could stop that worst of vices — propagation. 


We leave this royal couple to repose : 

A bed is not a throne, and they may sleep, 

Whate'er their dreams be, if of joys or woes : 
Yet disappointed joys are woes as deep 

As any man's clay mixture undergoes. 

Our least of sorrows are such as we weep ; 

'Tis the vile daily drop on drop which wears 

The soul out (like the stone) with petty cares. 


A scolding wife, a sullen son, a bill 

To pay, unpaid, protested, or discounted 

At a per-centage ; a child cross, dog ill, 

A favourite horse fallen lame just as he 's mounted, 

A bad old woman making a worse will, 

Which leaves you minus of the cash you counted 

As certain; — these are paltry things, and yet 

I've rarely seen the man they did not fret. 


I'm a philosopher; confound them all! 

Bills, beasts, and men, and — no ! not womankind ! 
With one good hearty curse I vent my gall, 

And then my stoicism leaves nought behind 

VTO Ti. DON JUAN. 141 

Which it can either pain or evil call, 

And I can give my whole soul up to mind ; 
Though what is soul or mind, their birth or growth, 
Is more than I know — the deuce take them both ! 


So now all things are d — n'd one feels at ease, 

As after reading Athanasius' curse, 
Which doth your true believer so much please : 

I doubt if any now could make it worse 
O'er his worst enemy when at his knees, 

'Tis so sententious, positive, and terse. 
And decorates the book of Common Prayer 
As doth a rainbow the just clearing air. 


Gulbeyaz and her lord were sleeping, or 

At least one of them ! — Oh, the heavy night, 

When wicked wives, who love some bachelor. 
Lie down in dudgeon to sigh for the light 

Of the grey morning, and look vainly for 

Its twinkle through the lattice dusky quite — 

To toss, to tumble, doze, revive, and quake 

Lest their too lawful bed-fellow should wake ! 


These are beneath the canopy of heaven. 

Also beneath the canopy of beds 
Four-posted and silk-curtain'd, which are given 

For rich men and their brides to lay their heads 

142 DON JUAN. 


Upon, in sheets white as what bards call " driven 

Snow." Well! 'tis all hap-hazard when one weds. 
Gulbeyaz was an empress, but had been 
Perhaps as wretched if a peasant! s quean.Q) 


Don Juan in his feminine disguise, 

With all the damsels in their long array. 

Had bow'd themselves before th' imperial eyes, 
And at the usual signal ta'en their way 

Back to their chambers, those long galleries 
In the seraglio, where the ladies lay 

Their delicate hmbs ; a thousand bosoms there 

Beating for love, as the caged bird's for air. 


I love the sex, and sometimes would reverse 
The tyrant's (2) wish, " that mankind only had 

One neck, which he with one fell stroke might pierce:' 
My wish is quite as wide, but not so bad, 

And much more tender on the whole than fierce ; 
It being (not now, but only while a lad) 

That womankind had but one rosy mouth. 

To kiss them all at once from North to South. 

■ (1) [The bards of Queen Caroline, in the Times newspaper, were con- 
tinually, during the period of her trial, ringing the changes on the 
" driven snow " of her purity. — E.] 

(2) Caligula — see Suetonius. " Being 'in a rage at the people, for fa- 
vouring a party in the Circensian games in opposition to him, he cried 
out, • I wish the Roman people had but one neck.' " 



Oh, enviable Briareus ! with thy hands 

And heads, if thou hadst all things multiplied 

In such proportion ! — But my Muse withstands 
The giant thought of being a Titan's bride, 

Or travelling in Fatagonian lands ; 
So let us back to Lilliput, and guide 

Our hero through the labyrinth of love 

In which we left him several lines above. 


He went forth with the lovely Odalisques, (^) 
At the given signal join'd to their array ; 

And though he certainly ran many risks, 
Yet he could not at times keep, by the way, 

(Although the consequences of such frisks 
Are worse than the worst damages men pay 

In moral England, where the thing 's a tax,) 

From ogling all their charms from breasts to backs. 


Still he forgot not his disguise : — along 

The galleries from room to room they walk'd, 

A virgin-like and edifying throng. 
By eunuchs flank'd; while at their head there stalk'd 

A dame who kept up discipline among 

The female ranks, so that none stirr'd or talk'd 

Without her sanction on their she-parades : 

Her title was « the Mother of the Maids." 

0) The ladies of the teraglia 

144? DON JUAN. CANTO Vlir 


Wlietlier she was a " mother, " I know not, [mother; 

Or whether they were " maids" who call'd her 
But this is her seraglio title, got 

I know not how, but good as any other ; 
So Cantemir(^) can tell you, or De Tott:(2) 

Her oiRce was, to keep aloof or smother 
All bad propensities in fifteen hundred 
Young women, and correct them when they blunder' d. 



A goodly sinecure, no doubt ! but made 
More easy by the absence of all men — 

Except his majesty, — who, with her aid. 
And guards, and bolts, and walls, and now and then 

A slight example, just to cast a shade 

Along the rest, contrived to keep this den 

Of beauties cool as an Italian convent, 

Where all the passions have, alas ! but one vent. 


And what is that? Devotion, doubtless — how 
Could you ask such a question? — but we will 

Continue. As I said, this goodly row 
Of ladies of all countries at the will 

Of one good man, with stately march and slow, 
Like water-lilies floating down a rill — 

Or rather lake — for rills do not run slowly, — 

Paced on most maiden-like and melancholy. 

(1) [Demetrius Cantemir, a prince of Moldavia ; whose " History of the 
Growth and Decay of the Ottoman Empire" was translated into English 
by Tindal. He died in 1723.] 

(?) [^" Memoirs of the State of the Turkish Empire, 1785."] 



But when they reach'd their own apartments, there, 
Like birds, or boys, or bedlamites broke loose. 

Waves at spring-tide, or women any where 

When freed from bonds (which are of no great use 

After all), or like Irish at a fair. 

Their guards being gone, and as it Avere a truce 

Established between them and bondage, they 

L n to sing, dance, chatter, smile, and play. 


Their talk, of course, ran most on the new comer ; 

Her shape, her hair, her air, her every thing : 
Some thought her dress did not so much become her. 

Or wonder'd at her ears without a ring ; 
Some said her years were getting nigh their summer. 

Others contended they were but in spring ; 
Some thought her rather masculine in height. 
While others wish'd that she had been so quite. 


But no one doubted on the whole, that she 
Was what her dress bespoke, a damsel fair. 

And fresh, and " beautiful exceedingly," (i) [pare: 
Who with the brightest Georgians (2) might com- 

(1, ["I Rueu, 't wa« frightful there to see 

A Udy so richly clad a« she- 
Beautiful exceedingly." — Coleridge'* ChrtstabelJ 

(!) •• It U In the adjacent climates of Georgia, Mingrelia, and Circassia, 
that nature has placed, at least to our eyes, the model of beauty, in the 
•hapc of the iimlM, the colour of the skin, the symmetry of the features, 
•nd the esprcMioo of the countenance : the men are formc<l for action, 
Hie women fcr love**— Gibbox. 



They wonder d how Gulbeyaz, too, could be 
So silly as to buy slaves who might share 
(If that his Highness wearied of his bride) 
Her throne and power, and every thing beside. 


But what was strangest in this virgin crew, 
Although her beauty was enough to vex, 

After the first investigating view, 

They all found out as few, or fewer, specks 

In the fair form of their companion new, 
Than is the custom of the gentle sex. 

When they survey, with Christian eyes or Heathen, 

In a new face " the ugliest creature breathing." 


And yet they had their little jealousies. 
Like all the rest ; but upon this occasion, 

Whether there are such things as sympathies 
Without our knowledge or our approbation, 

Although they could not see through his disguise, 
All felt a soft kind of concatenation, 

Like magnetism, or devilism, or what 

You please — we will not quarrel about that: 


But certain 'tis they all felt for their new 
Companion something newer still, as 'twere 

A sentimental friendship through and through, 
Extremely pure, which made them all concur 


In wishing her their sister, save a few 

Who wish'd they had a brother just like her, 
\\'hora, if they were at home in sweet Circassia, 
They would prefer to Padisha(^) or Pacha. 


i )f those who had most genius for this sort 
Of sentimental friendship, there were three, 

Lolah, Katinka,(-) and Dudu ; in short, 
(To save description) fair as fair can be 

Were they, according to the best report, 
Though differing in stature and degree, 

And clime and time, and country and complexion ; 

They all alike admired their new connection. 


Lolah was dusk as India and as warm ; 

Katinka was a Georgian, (^) white and red. 
With great blue eyes, a lovely hand and arm. 

And feet so small they scarce seem'd made to tread, 
But rather skim the earth ; while Dudu's form 

Look'd more adapted to be put to bed. 
Being somewhat large, and languishing, and lazy, 
Yet of a beauty that would drive you crazy. 

(1) PsdUha U the Turkuh title of the Grand Signior. 

CI) CKatfaka wm the name of the youngest of the three girls, at whose 
hoow Lord Bjron resided while at Athens, in 1810. See anth. Vol. I. p. 320.] 

(3) [The " good pointi " of a Georgian girl are a rosy or carnation tint 
on her cheek, which they call numuck, " the salt of beauty ; " dark hair^ 
large bIjKk a nUi o f eye* and arched eyc-brows, a small nose and mouth, 
white teeth, knf R«d(,ddkate limb« and small joinU. They arc extremely 
bCMitiftil, fUn of jTriBUrt top, grace, and elegance. — Mobier.] 

L 2 


XLII. ^ 

A kind of sleepy Venus seem'd Dudu, 9B 

Yet very fit to " murder sleep" in those 

Who gazed upon her cheek's transcendent hue, 
Her Attic forehead, and her Phidian nose : 

Few angles were there in her form, 'tis true. 

Thinner she might have been, and yet scarce lose ; 

Yet, after all, 'twould puzzle to say where 

It would not spoil some separate charm to pare. 


She was not violently lively, but 

Stole on your spirit like a May- day breaking ; 
Her eyes were not too sparkling, yet, half-shut. 

They put beholders in a tender taking ; 
She look'd (this simile's quite new) just cut 

From marble, like Pygmalion's statue waking. 
The mortal and the marble still at strife, 
And timidly expanding into life. 


Lolah demanded the new damsel's name — 
" Juanna." — Well, a pretty name enough. 

Katinka ask'd her also whence she came — 

" From Spain." — " But where is Spain? " — " Don't 
ask such stuff. 

Nor show your Georgian ignorance — for shame !" 
Said Lolah, with an accent rather rough, 

To poor Katinka : " Spain 's an island near 

Morocco, betwixt Egypt and Tangier." 



Dudu said nothing, but sat down beside 
Juanna, playing with her veil or hair ; 

And looking at her steadfastly, she sigh'd, 
As if she pitied her for being there, 

A pretty stranger without friend or guide, 
And all abash'd, too, at the general stare 

Which welcomes hapless strangers in all places. 

With kind remarks upon their mien and faces. 


But here the Mother of the Maids drew near. 
With, " Ladies, it is time to go to rest. 

I'm puzzled what to do with you, my dear," 
She added to Juanna, their new guest : 

" Your coming has been unexpected here, 
And every couch is occupied ; you had best 

Partake of mine; but by to-morrow early 

We will have all things settled for you fairly " 


Here Lolah interposed — " Mamma, you know 
You don't sleep soundly, and I cannot bear 

That any body should disturb you so ; 
I'll take Juanna; we're a slenderer pair 

Than you would make the half of; — don't say no ; 
And I of your young charge will take due care." 

Hut here Katinka interfered, and said, 

" She also had compassion and a bed." 
L 3 



" Besides, I hate to sleep alone," quoth she. 

The matron frown'd : " Why so?"—" For fear of 

Replied Katinka ; " I am sure I see 

A phantom upon each of the four posts ; 

And then I have the worst dreams that can be, 
Of Guebres, Giaours, and Ginns, and Gouls in 

The dame replied, " Between your dreams and you, 

I fear Juanna's dreams would be but few. 


" You, Lolah, must continue still to lie 

Alone, for reasons which don't matter ; you 

The same, Katinka, until by and by ; 
And I shall place Juanna with Dudu, 

Who's quiet, inoffensive, silent, shy, 

And will not toss and chatter the night through. 

What say you, child?" — Dudu said nothing, as 

Her talents were of the more silent class ; 


But she rose up, and kiss'd the matron's brow 
Between the eyes, and Lolah on both cheeks, 

Katinka too ; and with a gentle bow 

(Curt'sies are neither used by Turks nor Greeks) 

She took Juanna by the hand to show 

Their place of rest, and left to both their piques. 

The others pouting at the matron's preference 

Of Dudu, though they held their tongues from 



It was a spacious chamber (Oda is 

The Turkish title), and ranged round the wall 
Were couches, toilets — and much more than this 

I might describe, as I have seen it all, 
But it suffices — little was amiss ; 

'T was on the whole a nobly furnish'd hajl, 
With all things ladies want, save one or two, 
And even those were nearer than they knew. 


Dudu, as has been said, was a sweet creature, 
Not very dashing, but extremely winning. 

With the most regulated charms of feature. 
Which painters cannot catch like faces sinning 

Against proportion — the wild strokes of nature 
Which they hit off at once in the beginning. 

Full of expression, right or wrong, that strike, 

And pleasing, or unpleasing, still are like. 



But she was a soft landscape of mild earth, 
Where all was harmony, and calm, and quiet. 

Luxuriant, budding ; cheerful without mirth. 
Which, if not happiness, is much more nigh it 

Than are your mighty passions and so forth, 
WTiich, some call " the sublime : " I wish they 'd try it 

I 've seen your stormy seas and stormy women, 

And pity lovers rather more than seamen. 
L 4 




But she was pensive more than melancholy, 
And serious more than pensive, and serene, 

It may be, more than either — not unholy 

Her thoughts, at least till now, appear to have been. 

The strangest thing was, beauteous, she was wholly 
Unconscious, albeit turn'd of quick seventeen. 

That she was fair, or dark, or short, or tall ; 

She never thought about herself at all. 


And therefore was she kind and gentle as 

The Age of Gold (when gold was yet unknown. 

By which its nomenclature came to pass ; 
Thus most appropriately has been shown 

" Lucus a non lucendo," not what was. 

But what was not; a sort of style that's grown 

Extremely common in this age, whose metal 

The devil may decompose, but never settle : 


I think it may be of" Corinthian Brass," (^) 
\Vhich was a mixture of all metals, but 

The brazen uppermost). Kind reader ! pass 
This long parenthesis : I could not shut 

It sooner for the soul of me, and class 

My faults even with your own ! which meaneth, Put 

A kind construction upon them and me : 

But that you won't — then don't — I am not less free. 

(1) [This brass, so famous in antiquity, is a mixture of gold, silver, 
and copper, and is supposed to have been produced by the fusion of these 
metals, in which Corinth abounded, when it was sacked. — Sir D. Brew- 



Tis time we should return to plain narration, 
And thus my narrative proceeds : — Dudu^ 

With every kindness short of ostentation, 

Show'd Juan, or Juanna, through and through 

This labyrinth of females, and each station [few : 
Described — what's strange — in words extremely 

I have but one simile, and that's a blunder, 

For wordless woman, which is silent thunder. 


And next she gave her (I say her, because 
The gender still was epicene, at least 

In outward show, which is a saving clause) 
An outline of the customs of the East, 

With all their chaste integrity of laws. 
By which the more a haram is increased. 

The stricter doubtless grow the vestal duties 

Of any supernumerary beauties. 


And then she gave Juanna a chaste kiss : 
Dudu was fond of kissing — which I'm sure 

That nobody can ever take amiss. 

Because 'tis pleasant, so that it be pure, 

And between females means no more than this — 
That they have nothing better near, or newer. 

" Kiss" rhymes to " bliss" in fact as well as verse- 

I wish it never led to something worse. 



In perfect Innocence she then unmade 
Her toilet, which cost little, for she was 

A child of Nature, carelessly array'd : 
If fond of a chance ogle at her glass, 

'Twas like the fawn, which, in the lake display'd, 
Beholds her own shy, shadowy image pass. 

When first she starts, and then returns to peep. 

Admiring this new native of the deep. 


And one by one her articles of dress 

Were laid aside ; but not before she ofFer'd 

Her aid to fair Juanna, whose excess 

Of modesty declined the assistance profFer'd : 

Which pass'd well off^ — as she could do no less ; 
Though by this politesse she rather sufFer'd, 

Pricking her fingers with those cursed pins. 

Which surely were invented for our sins, — 


Making a woman like a porcupine. 

Not to be rashly touch'd. But still more dread, 
Oh ye ! whose fate it is, as once 't was mine, 

In early youth, to turn a lady's maid ; — 
I did my very boyish best to shine 

In tricking her out for a masquerade : 
The pins were placed sufficiently, but not 
Stuck all exactly in the proper spot. 



But these are foolish things to all the wise, 
And I love wisdom more than she loves me ; 

My tendency is to philosophise 

On most things, from a tyrant to a tree ; 

But still the spouseless virgin Knmvledge flies. 
What are we ? and whence came we ? what shall be 

Our ultimate existence? what's our present ? 

Are questions answerless, and yet incessant. 


There was deep silence in the chamber : dim 
And distant from each other burn'd the lights, 

And slumber hover'd o'er each lovely limb 

Of the fair occupants : if there be sprites, [trim, 

They should have walk'd there in their sprightliest 
By way of change from their sepulchral sites, 

And shown themselves as ghosts of better taste 

Tlian haunting some old ruin or wild waste. 


Many and beautiful lay those around. 

Like flowers of different hue, and clime, and root, 
III some exotic garden sometimes found. 

With cost, and care, and warmth induced to shoot. 
One with her auburn tresses lightly bound, 

And fair brows gently drooping, as the fruit 
Nods from the tree, was slumbering with soft breath, 
And lips apart, which show'd the pearls beneath. 



One with her flush'd cheek laid on her white arm, 
And raven ringlets gather'd in dark crowd 

Above her brow, lay dreaming soft and warm ; 
And smiling through her dream, as through a cloud 

The moon breaks, half unveil'd each further charm, 
As, slightly stirring in her snowy shroud, 

Her beauties seized the unconscious hour of night 

All bashfully to struggle into light. 


This is no bull, although it sounds so ; for 

'T was night, but there were lamps, ashathbeen said. 

A third's all pallid aspect ofFer'd more 

The traits of sleeping sorrow, and betray'd 

Through the heavedbreast the dream of some far shore 
Beloved and deplored ; while slowly stray 'd 

(As night-dew, on a cypress glittering, tinges 

The black bough) tear-drops through her eyes' dark 


A fourth as marble, statue-like and still. 

Lay in a breathless, hush'd, and stony sleep ; 

White, cold, and pure, as looks a frozen rill. 
Or the snow minaret on an Alpine steep. 

Or Lot's wife done in salt, — or what you will ; — 
My similes are gather'd in a heap^, 

So pick and choose — perhaps you'll be content 

With a carved lady on a monument. 



viid lo I a fifth appears ; — and what is she ? 

A lady of " a certain age," which means 
Certainly aged — what her years might be 

I know not, never counting past their teens ; 
But there she slept, not quite so fair to see, 

As ere that awful period intervenes 
Which lays both men and women on the shelf, 
To meditate upon their sins and self. 


But all this time how slept, or dream'd, Dudu ? 

With strict enquiry I could ne'er discover, 
And scorn to add a syllable untrue ; 

But ere the middle watch was hardly over,, 
Just when the fading lamps waned dim and blue. 

And phantoms hover'd, or might seem to hover. 
To those who like their company, about 
The apartment, on a sudden she scream'd out : 


And that so loudly, that upstarted all 

The Oda, in a general commotion : 
Matron and maids, and those whom you may call 

Neither, came crowding like the waves of ocean, 
One on the other, throughout the whole hall. 

All trembling, wondering, without the least notion 
More than I have myself of what could make 
Hie calm Dxidd so turbulently wake. 



But wide awake she was, and round her bed, 
With floating draperies and with flying hair, 

With eager eyes, and light but hurried tread. 
And bosoms, arms, and ankles glancing bare, 

And bright as any meteor ever bred 

By the North Pole, — they sought her cause of care, 

For she seem 'd agitated, flush'd, and frighten'd. 

Her eye dilated and her colour heighten'd. 


But what is strange — and a strong proof how great 
A blessing is sound sleep — Juanna lay 

As fast as ever husband by his mate 
In holy matrimony snores away. 

Not all the clamour broke her happy state 

Of slumber, ere they shook her, — so they say 

At least, — and then she, too, unclosed her eyes, 

And yawn'd a good deal with discreet surprise. 


And now commenced a strict investigation. 

Which, as all spoke at once, and more than once 

Conjecturing, wondering, asking a narration, 
Alike might puzzle either wit or dunce 

To answer in a very clear oration. 

Dudu had never pass'd for wanting sense, 

But, being " no orator as Brutus is," 

Could not at first expound what was amiss. 




At length she said, that in a slumber sound 
She dream'd a dream, of walking in a wood — 

\ " wood obscure," like that where Dante found Q) 
Himself in at the age when all grow good; 

Life's half-way house, where dames with virtue 
Run much less risk of lovers turning rude ; 

And that this wood was full of pleasant fruits. 

And trees of goodly growth and spreading roots ; 


.\nd in the midst a golden apple grew, — 
A most prodigious pippin — but it hung 

Rather too high and distant ; that she threw 
Her glances on it, and then, longing, flung 

Stones and whatever she could pick up, to 

Bring down the fruit, which still perversely clung 

To its own bough, and dangled yet in sight, 

But always at a most provoking height; — 


That on a sudden, when she least had hope, 
It fell down of its own accord before 

Her feet ; that her first movement was to stoop 

And pick it up, and bite it to the core ; 
! !iat just as her young lip began to ope 
Upon the golden fruit the vision bore, 

A bee flew out and stung her to the heart, 

And so — she awoke with a great scream and start 

(I) " Ncir mezzo del* cnmnln* di nostra vita 

Mi ritrovai per una telTa oacura," &c. — Inferno. 



All this she told with some confusion and 
Dismay, the usual consequence of dreams 

Of the unpleasant kind, with none at hand 
To expound their vain and visionary gleams. 

I've known some odd ones which seem'd really plann'd 
Prophetically, or that which one deems 

A " strange coincidence," to use a phrase 

By which such things are settled now-a-days. (^) 


The damsels, who had thoughts of some great harm, 

Began, as is the consequence of fear. 
To scold a little at the false alarm 

That broke for nothing on their sleeping ear. 
The matron, too, was wroth to leave her warm 

Bed for the dream she had been obliged to hear. 
And chafed at poor Dudu, who only sigh'd. 
And said, that she was sorry she had cried. 


" I've heard of stories of a cock and bull; 

But visions of an apple and a bee, 
To take us from our natural rest, and pull 

The whole Oda from their beds at half-past three, 
Would make us think the moon is at its full. 

You surely are unwell, child I we must see. 
To-morrow, what his Highness's physician 
Will say to this hysteric of a vision. 



(1) [One of the advocates employed for Queen Caroline in the House ot 
Lords spoke of some of the most puzzling passages in the history of her 
intercourse with Bergami, as amounting to "odd instances of strange 
coincidence. "J 

CANTO vr. 

DON JUAN. 161 


" And poor Juanna, too, the child's first night 
Within these walls, to be broke in upon 

With such a clamour — I had thought it right 
ITiat the young stranger should not lie alone, 

And, as the quietest of all, she might 

With you, Dudii, a good night's rest have known ; 

But now I must transfer her to the charge 

Of Lolah — though her couch is not so large." 


Lolah's eyes sparkled at the proposition ; 

But poor Dudu, with large drops in her own. 
Resulting from the scolding or the vision. 

Implored that present pardon might be shown 
For this first fault, and that on no condition 

(She added in a soft and piteous tone) 
Juanna should be taken from her, and 
Her future dreams should all be kept in hand. 


She promised never more to have a dream. 
At least to dream so loudly as just now ; 

She wonder'd at herself how she could scream — 
*Twa8 foolish, nervous, as she must allow, 

A fond hallucination, and a theme 

For laughter — but she felt her spirits low. 

And begg'd they would excuse her ; she'd get over 

This weakness in a few hours, and recover. 




And here Juanna kindly interposed, 

And said she felt herself extremely well 

Where she then was, as her sound sleep disclosed 
When all around rang like a tocsin bell : 

She did not find herself the least disposed 
To quit her gentle partner, and to dwell 

Apart from one who had no sin to show 

Save that of dreaming once " mal-a-propos." 


As thus Juanna spoke, Dudu turn'd round 
And hid her face within Juanna's breast : 

Her neck alone was seen, but that was found 
The colour of a budding rose's crest. 

I can't tell why she blush' d, nor can expound 
The mystery of this rupture of their rest ; 

All that I know is, that the facts I state 

Are true as truth has ever been of late. 


And so good night to them, — or, if you will. 
Good morrow — for the cock had crown, and light 

Began to clothe each Asiatic hill. 

And the mosque crescent struggled into sight 

Of the long caravan, which in the chill 

Of dewy dawn wound slowly round each height 

That stretches to the stony belt^ which girds 

Asia, where KafF looks down upon the Kurds. 

ro VI. DON JUAN. 163 


With the first ray, or rather grey of morn^ 
Gulbeyaz rose from restlessness ; and pale 

As Passion rises, with its bosom worn. 

Array 'd herself with mantle, gem, and veil. 

The nightingale that sings with the deep thorn. 
Which flible places in her breast of wail, 

Is lighter far of heart and voice than those 

Whose headlong passions form their proper woes. 


id that's the moral of this composition, 

If people would but see its real drift ; — 
But tJuU they will not do without suspicion, 

Because all gentle readers have the gift 
Of closing 'gainst the light their orbs of vision ; 

While gentle writers also love to lift 
Their voices 'gainst each other, which is natural. 
The numbers are too great for them to flatter all. 


Roee the sultana from a bed of splendour. 
Softer than the soft Sybarite's, who cried 

Aloud because his feelings were too tender 
To brook a ruflBed rose-leaf by his side, — 

So beautiful that art could little mend her, 

Though pale with conflicts between love and 

-^u agitated was she with her error, [pride ; — 

She did not even look into the mirror. 
M 2 



Also arose about the self-same time, 
Perhaps a little later, her great lord. 

Master of thirty kingdoms so sublime. 
And of a wife by whom he was abhorr'd ; 

A thing of much less import in that clime — 
At least to those of incomes which afford 

The filling up their whole connubial cargo — 

Than where two wives are under an embargo. 

He did not think much on the matter, nor 

Indeed on any other : as a man 
He liked to have a handsome paramour 

At hand, as one may like to have a fan. 
And therefore of Circassians had good store^ 

As an amusement after the Divan ; 
Though an unusual fit of love, or duty. 
Had made him lately bask in his bride's beauty. A: 


And now he rose ; and after due ablutions 
Exacted by the customs of the East, 

And prayers and other pious evolutions. 
He drank six cups of coffee at the least, 

And then withdrew to hear about the Russians, 
Whose victories had recently increased 

In Catherine's reign, whom glory still adores 

As greatest of all sovereigns and w s. 



But oh, thou grand legitimate Alexander ! 

Her son's son, let not this last phrase offend 
Thine ear, if it should reach — and now rhymes wander 

Almost as far as Petersburgh, and lend 
A dreadful impulse to each loud meander 

Of murmuring Liberty's wide waves, which blend 
Their roar even with the Baltic's — so you be 
Your father's son, 'tis quite enough for me. 

To call men love-begotten, or proclaim 

Their mothers as the antipodes of Timon, 
That hater of mankind, would be a shame, 

A libel, or whate'er you please to rhyme on : 
But people's ancestors are history's game ; 

And if one lady's slip could leave a crime on 
All generations, I should like to know 
What pedigree the best would have to show ? 

Had Catherine and the sultan understood 

Their own true interests, which kings rarely know, 
Until 'tis taught by lessons rather rude, 

There was a way to end their strife, although 
Perhaps precarious, had they but thought good, 

Without the aid of prince or plenipo : 
^e to dismiss her guards and he his haram, 
iud for their other matters, meet and share 'era. 
M 3 



But as it was, his Highness had to hold 
His daily council upon ways and means 

How to encounter with this martial scold. 
This modern Amazon and queen of queans ; 

And the perplexit}'^ could not be told 

Of all the pillars of the state, which leans 

Sometimes a little heavy on the backs 

Of those who cannot lay on a new tax. 


Meantime Gulbeyaz, when her king was gone. 
Retired into her boudoir, a sweet place 

For love or breakfast ; private, pleasing, lone, 
And rich with all contrivances which grace 

Those gay recesses: — many a precious stone 
Sparkled along its roof, and many a vase 

Of porcelain held in the fetter'd flowers, 

Those captive soothers of a captive's hours. 


Mother of pearl, and porphyry, and marble, 
Vied with each other on this costly spot ; 

And singing birds without were heard to warble ; 
And the stain'd glass which lighted this fair grot 

Varied each ray; — but all descriptions garble 
The true effect, (^) and so we had better not 

Be too minute; an outline is the best, — 

A lively reader's fancy does the rest. 

(1) [Motraye, in describing the interior of the Grand Signior's palace, 
into which he gained admission as the assistant of a watch-maker, who was 
employed to regulate the clocks, says that the eunuch who received them 




And here she summon'd Baba, and required 
Don Juan at his hands, and information 

Of what had pass'd since all the slaves retired, 
And whether he had occupied their station ; 

If matters had been managed as desired, 
And his disguise with due consideration 

Kept up ; and above all, the where and how 

He had pass'd the night, was what she wish'd to know. 

Baba, with some embarrassment, replied 

To this long catechism of questions, ask'd 
More easily than answer'd, — that he had tried 

His best to obey in what he had been task'd ; 
But there seem'd something that he wish'd to hide, 

Which hesitation more betray'd than mask'd ; 
He scratch'd his ear, the infallible resource 
To which embarrass'd people have recourse. 


Gulbeyaz was no model of true patience. 
Nor much disposed to wait in word or deed ; 

She liked quick answers in all conversations ; 
And when she saw him stumbling like a steed 

at the ( • r- haram, conducted them into a hall, which appeared t» 

be the : apartment in the edifice : — " Cette salle est incrustee 

de poriL— V , ^i Iclambrisdore et azurt' qui ornclefond d'unecoupole 

qui rJgne au^esius, e«t des plus riches. Une fontaine artificielle et jaiU 
lisMntc.dont Ic basin est d'un prtcieux marbre verd qui m'a paru serpentin 
<iU Jaspe, s'elevoit directement au milieu, sous le dAme. Je me trouvai 
a tite »i pleine de sophas, de precieux plafonds, de meubles superbes, en 
un mot, d^ine ti grande confusion de mat^riaux magnifiques, qu'il seroit 
( d'cn donner une id*e claire." — Voyages, torn. L p. 220.] 
M 4 

168 DON JUAN. 


In his replies^ she puzzled him for fresh ones ; 

And as his speech grew still more broken-kneed, 
Her cheek began to flush, her eyes to sparkle, 
And her proud brow's blue veins to swell and darkle. 


When Baba saw these symptoms, which he knew 
To bode him no great good, he deprecated 

Her anger, and beseech'd she'd hear him through — 
He could not help the thing which he related : 

Then out it came at length, that to Dudu 

Juan was given in charge, as hath been stated ; 

But not by Baba's fault, he said, and swore on 

The holy camel's hump, besides the Koran. 

The chief dame of the Oda, upon whom 

The discipline of the whole haram bore. 
As soon as they re-enter'd their own room, 

For Baba's function stopt short at the door. 
Had settled all ; nor could he then presume 

(The aforesaid Baba) just then to do more. 
Without exciting such suspicion as 
Might make the matter still worse than it was. 


He hoped, indeed he thought, he could be sure 
Juan had not betray'd himself; in fact 

'Twas certain that his conduct had been pure. 
Because a foolish or imprudent act 

CAJrro Ti. DON JUAN. 169 

".'ould not alone have made him insecm-e, 

But ended in his being found out and sacKd, 
And thrown into the sea.(i) — Thus Baba spoke 
Of all save Dudu's dream, which was no joke. 

This he discreetly kept in the back ground, 

And talk'd away — and might have talk'd till now. 
For any further answer that he found, 

So deep an anguish wrung Gulbeyaz* brow ; 
Her cheek turn'd ashes, ears rung, brain whirl'd round, 

As if she had received a sudden blow. 
And the heart 's dew of pain sprang fast and chilly 
O'er her fair front, like Morning's on a lily. 

Klthough she was not of the fainting sort, 

IJaba thought she would faint, but there he err d — 
it was but a convulsion, which though short 

Can never be described ; we all have heard. 
And some of us have felt thus '' all amort," {^) 

When things beyond the common have occurr'd ; — 
Gulbeyaz proved in that brief agony 
What she could ne'er express — then how should I? 


'*'* ' hhI a moment as a Pythoness 

is on her tripod, agonised, and full 
iration gather'd from distress, 
^ --a all the heart-strings like wild horses pull 

(1) CSee amw. Vol IX. p. SOO.] 

^«) I** How fans my Kate? What ! iweetlng, all amort ?" 

Taming of the Shrew.2 

170 DON JUAN. CANTO vr. 

The heart asunder; — then, as more or less 

Their speed abated or their strength grew dull, 
She sunk down on her seat by slow degrees, 
And bow'd her throbbing head o'er trembling knees. 


Her face declined and was unseen ; her hair 
Fell in long tresses like the weeping willow, 

Sweeping the marble underneath her chair. 
Or rather sofa, (for it was all pillow, 

A low, soft ottoman,) and black despair 

Stirr'd up and down her bosom like a billow. 

Which rushes to some shore whose shingles check 

Its farther course, but must receive its wreck. 

Her head hung down, and her long hair in stooping 

Conceal'd her features better than a veil ; 
And one hand o'er the ottoman lay drooping. 

White, waxen, and as alabaster pale : 
Would that I were a painter ! to be grouping 

All that a poet drags into detail ! 
Oh that my words were colours ! but their tints 
May serve perhaps as outlines or slight hints. 

Baba, who knew by experience when to talk 

And when to hold his tongue, now held it till 
This passion might blow o'er, nor dared to balk 

Gulbeyaz' taciturn or speaking will. 



\t length she rose up, and began to walk 
Slowly along the room, but silent still, 
And her brow clear'd, but not her troubled eye 
T^^^' ^vind was down, but still the sea ran high. 


le stopp'd, and raised her head to speak — but 

And then moved on again with rapid pace ; 
Then slacken'd it, which is the march most caused 

By deep emotion : — you may sometimes trace 
A feeling in each footstep, as disclosed 

By Sallust in his Catiline, who, chased 
By all the demons of all passions, show'd 
Their work even by the way in which he trode.(^) 

Gulbeyaz stopp'd and beckon'd Baba : — " Slave I 

Bring the two slaves I " she said in a low tone, 
But one which Baba did not like to brave, 

And yet he shudder'd, and seem'd rather prone 
To prove reluctant, and begg'd leave to crave 

(Though he well knew the meaning) to be shown 
What slaves her highness wish'd to indicate, 
lor fear of any error, like the late. 

(I) [•• HU fulUjr MNtl, at enmity with gods and men, could find no rest ; 
M TiolcntJf «M hit miad torn and distracted by a consciousness of guilt. 
Aonrdiof Ijr hU oountcnaoce was pale, his eyes ghastly, his pace one while 
qoick. aoodMr alow j Indeed, In all his looks there was an air of distrac- 



" The Georgian and her paramour, " replied 

The imperial bride — and added, " Let the boat 

Be ready by the secret portal's side : 
You know the rest. " The words stuck in her throat, 

Despite her injured love and fiery pride ; 
And of this Baba wiUingly took note. 

And begg'd by every hair of Mahomet's beard, 

She would revoke the order he had heard. 

" To hear is to obey," he said; " but still, 

Sultana, think upon the consequence : 
It is not that I shall not all fulfil 

Your orders, even in their severest sense 
But such precipitation may end ill, 

Even at your own imperative expense : 
I do not mean destruction and exposure, 
In case of any premature disclosure ; 

" But your own feelings. Even should all the rest 

Be hidden by the rolling waves, which hide 
Already many a once love-beaten breast 

Deep in the caverns of the deadly tide — 
You love this boyish, new, seraglio guest. 

And if this violent remedy be tried — 
Excuse my freedom, when I here assure you. 
That killing him is not the way to cure you." 

"VTOVi. DON JUAN. 173 


\\>.at dost thou know of love or feeling? — Wretch I 

Begone!" she cried, with kindling eyes — "and do 
Mv bidding ! " Baba vanish'd, for to stretch 

His own remonstrance further he well knew 
' light end in acting as his own " Jack Ketch;" 

And though he wish'd extremely to get through 
This awkward business without harm to others, 
He still preforrM his own neck to another's. 


vay he went then upon his commission. 

Growling and grumbling in good Turkish phrase 
Against all women of whate'er condition, 

Especially sultanas and their ways ; 
Their obstinacy, pride, and indecision. 

Their never knowing their own mind two days, 
The trouble that they gave, their immorality. 
Which made him daily bless his own neutrality. 


And then he call'd his brethren to his aid, 
And sent one on a summons to the pair, 

iiat they must instantly be well array'd. 
And above all be comb'd even to a hair, 

!id brought l)efore the empress, who had made 
Enquiries after them with kindest care : 

t which Dudu look'd strange, and Juan silly; 

at go they must at once, and will I — nill I. 



And here I leave them at their preparation 
For the imperial presence, wherein whether 

Gulbeyaz sliow'd them both commiseration, 
Or got rid of the parties altogether,, 

Like other angry ladies of her nation, — 
Are things the turning of a hair or feather 

May settle ; but far be 't from me to anticipate 

In what way feminine caprice may dissipate. 


I leave them for the present with good wishes, 
Though doubts of their well doing, to arrange 

Another part of history ; for the dishes 

Of this our banquet we must sometimes change 

And trusting Juan may escape the fishes. 
Although his situation now seems strange. 

And scarce secure, as such digressions are fair^ 

The Muse will take a little touch at warfare. 



(1) [** The wrenth and eighth Cantos contain a full detail (like the storm 
in Canto Mcood) of the siege and assault of Ismail, with much of sarcasm 
on tbote butchen in large business, your mercenary soldiers. With these 
thinp and these fellows it is necessary, in the present clash of philosophy 
aad tyranny, to throw away the scabbard. I know it is against fearfUl 
oidi ; but the Inttle mu*t be fought ; and it will be eventually for the 
food at mankind, whatever it may be for the individual who risks biso* 
Mif— A UUerM^ Aug. & 182a] 





O Love ! O Glory ! what are ye who fly 

Around us ever, rarely to alight? 
There's not a meteor in the polar sky 

( )f such transcendent and more fleeting flight. 
Lhill, and chain'd to cold earth, we lift on high 

Our eyes in search of either lovely light ; 
A thousand and a thousand colours they 
Assume, then leave us on our freezing way. 

And such as they are, such my present tale is, 

A non-descript and ever-varying rhyme, 
' — ified Aurora Borealis, 

li flashes o'er a waste and icy clime. 
When we know what all are, we must bewail us, 

But ne ertheless I hope it is no crime 
To laugh at all things — for I wish to know 
^^'liatt after cUl, are all things — but a show ? 





They accuse me — Me — the present writer of 
The present poem — of — I know not what — 

A tendency to under-rate and scoff 

At human power and virtue, and all that ; 

And this they say in language rather rough. 
Good God ! I wonder what they would be at ! 

I say no more than hath been said in Dante's 

Verse, and by Solomon and by Cervantes ; 


By Swift, by Machiavel, by Rochefoucault, 
By Fenelon, by Luther, and by Plato ; 

By Tillotson, and Wesley, and Rousseau, 
Who knew this life was not worth a potato. 

'Tis not their fault, nor mine, if this be so — 
For my part, I pretend not to be Cato, 

Nor even Diogenes. — We live and die. 

But which is best, you know no more than I. 


Socrates said, our only knowledge was (') 

" To know that nothing could be known ; " a pleasant 

Science enough, which levels to an ass 

Each man of wisdom, future, past, or present. 

Newton (that proverb of the mind), alas ! 

Declared, with all his grand discoveries recent, 

(1) [" Scrawled this additional page of life's log-book. One day more \<' 
over of it, and of me ; —but, ' which is best, life or death, the gods only 
know,' as Socrates said to his judges, on the breaking up of the tribunal. 
Two thousand years since that sage's declaration of ignorance have not 
enlightened us more upon this important point. — B. Diary, 1821/] 

v^.vxo vii. DON JUAN. 179 

Tliat he himself felt only " like a youth 

Picking up shells by the great ocean — Truth." (i) 


Ecclesiastes said, " that all is vanity" — 

Most modern preachers say the same, or show it 

By their examples of true Christianity : 

In short, all know, or very soon may know it ; 

And in this scene of all-confess'd inanity, 
By saint, by sage, by preacher, and by poet, 

Must I restrain me, through the fear of strife, 

From holding up the nothingness of life ? 


Dogs, or men I — for I flatter you (2) in saying 
That ye are dogs — your betters far — ye may 

Read, or read not, what I am now essaying 
To show ye what ye are in every way. 

As little as the moon stops for the baying 

Of wolves, will the bright muse withdraw one ray 

From out her skies — then howl your idle wrath ! 

"^Miile she still silvers o'er your gloomy path. 

i; [A ihort time before hi« death, he uttered this memorable senti- 
ment:—" I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself 
I teem to h«ve been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting 
myteir in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than 
ordinary, whiUt the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." 
— What a leMon to the vanity and presumption of philosophers; to those, 
etpecially, who have never e^en found the smoother pebble or the prettier 
•bell ! What a preparation for the latest enquiries, and the last views, of the 
•tocayifK «l»irit, — for tbo«e inspired doctrines which alone can throw a. 
Uf btover the d*rk ocean of undiscovered truth ! "—Sir David Brewster.] 

(S) [Sec " InKription oo the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog," anti, 
▼dVIL PL292.] 

N 2 



" Fierce loves and faithless wars" — I am not sure 
If this be the right reading — 'tis no matter; 

The fact's about the same, I am secure ; 
I sing them both, and am about to batter 

A town which did a famous siege endure, 

And was beleaguer'd both by land and water Q) 

By SouvarofF, or Anglice Suwarrow, 

Who loved blood as an alderman loves marrow. 

IX. ^' 

The fortress is call'd Ismail, and is placed 

Upon the Danube's left branch and left bank, (-) 
With buildings in the Oriental taste, 

But still a fortress of the foremost rank. 
Or was at least, unless 'tis since defaced. 

Which with your conquerors is a common prank : 
It stands some eighty versts from the high sea. 
And measures round of toises thousands three. (•'^) 


Within the extent of this fortification 
A borough is comprised along the height 

Upon the left, which from its loftier station 
Commands the city, and upon its site 


(1) [" An. 1790. Le 30 de Novembre on s"approcha de la place ; 1m 
troupes de terres formaient un total de vingt mille hommes, ind^pendam- 
ment de sept k huit mille Kozaks." — Hist, de la Nouvelle Russie, torn. ii. 
p. 201.] 

(2) [" Ismael est situ6 sur la rive gauche du bras gauche du Danube." 

(3) [ " k peu pr^s k quatre-vingts verstes de la mer ; elle a pres 
de trois milles toises de tour." — /6?d.] 

CANTO vn. DON JUAN. 181 

A Greek had raised around this elevation 

A quantity of palisades upright. 
So placed as to impede the fire of those 
WTio held the place, and to assist the foe's. Q) 


This circumstance may serve to give a notion 
Of the high talents of this new Vauban : 

But the town ditch below was deep as ocean, 
The rampart higher than you'd wish to hang : 

But then there was a great want of precaution 
(Prithee, excuse this engineering slang). 

Nor work advanced, nor cover'd way was there, ('-) 

To hint at least " Here is no thoroughfare." 


But a stone bastion, with a narrow gorge. 

And walls as thick as most skulls born as yet ; 

Two batteries, cap-a-pie, as our St. George, 

Case-mated (^) one, and t'other " a barbette," (■*) 

(1) [" On a comprjs dans ccs fortifications un faubourg Moldave, situ^ 
1^ U gauche de la ville, sur une hauteur qui la domine : Touvrage & ete 
tcrmine par un Grec. Pour donner une idee des talens de cet ing^nieur; 
U mflra de difc qu'il fit placer les palissadcs perfiendiculairenicnt sur le 
parapet, de meniire qu'elles favorisaient les assiegeans, et arretaient le 
fru de* aMi^gCa." — Ilist. de la N. R. p. 202.] 

(2) [** Le mnpart en terre est prodigieusement ^levfe, & cause de rim- 
aenae proTondeur du foase ; il est cependant absolument rasant ; il n'y a 
M ourrage avanc^, ni chemin ecu vert " — Ibid. p. 202.] 

(S) [Caaemate U a work made under the rampart, like a cellar or cave, 
«llil loopbolca to place guns in it, and is bomb proof. — Milit. DictJ 

(4) C^^^liCB tlM bwatwork of a battery is only of such height that the 
gun* may Are over It without being obliged to make embrasures, the guns 
are Mid to flre in tMibet — /6i</.] 

N 3 



Of Danube's bank took formidable charge ; 

While two and twenty cannon duly set 
Rose over the town's right side, in bristling tier, 
Forty feet high, upon a cavalier. (*) 


But from the river the town 's open quite. 
Because the Turks could never be persuaded 

A Russian vessel e'er would heave in sight ; (-) 
And such their creed was, till they were invaded, 

When it grew rather late to set things right. 
But as the Danube could not well be waded, 

They look'd upon the Muscovite flotilla. 

And only shouted, " Allah !" and " Bis Millahl'* 


The Russians now were ready to attack ; 

But oh, ye goddesses of war and glory ! 
How shall I spell the name of each Cossacque 

Who were immortal, could one tell their story ? 
Alas ! what to their memory can lack ? 

Achilles' self was not more grim and gory 
Than thousands of this new and polish'd nation. 
Whose names want nothing but — pronunciation. 

(1) [" Un bastion de pierres, ouvert par une gorge trfes-^troite, et dont 
les raurailles son fort epaisses, a un batterie casemat^e et une k barbette; 
il d^''eii 1 la rive du Danube. Du c6te droit de la ville est un cavalier de 
quara-ite pieds d'^levation k pic, garni de vingt-deux pifeces de canon, et 
qui defend la partie gauche." — if «/. de la N. R. p. 202.] 

(2) [" Du c6t^ du fleuve, la ville est absolument ouverte ; les Turcs ne 
croyaient pas que les Russes pussent jamais avoir une flotille dans le Da- 
mibe." — iJirf. p.20a] 



Still rU record a few, if but to increase 
Our euphony : there was Strongenoff, and Strokonoff, 

Meknop, Serge Low, Arsniew of modern Greece, 
And TschitsshakofF, and RoguenofF, and ChokenofF, 

And others of twelve consonants apiece ; 
And more might be found out, if I could poke enough 

Into gazettes ; but Fame (capricious strumpet). 

It seems, has got an ear as well as trumpet, 


And cannot tune those discords of narration, 
Which may be names at Moscow, into rhyme ; 

Yet there were several worth commemoration, 
As e'er was virgin of a nuptial chime ; 

Soft words, too, fitted for the peroration 
Of Londonderry drawling against time. 

Ending in " ischskin," " ousckin," " iffskchy," " ouski," 

Of whom we can insert but Rousamouski, Q) 


Scherematoff and Chrematoff, Koklophti, 
Koclobski, Kourakin, and Mouskin Pouskin, 

All proper men of weapons, as e'er scoff'd high 
Against a foe, or ran a sabre through skin : 

Cl) [" I* premise attaque etait compog^e de trois colonnes, com- 
mamUc* par la lieutenaiu-generaux Paul Poticmkin, Serge Lwow, 
let fin^rmux.iiuiion Lascy, Theodore Meknop. TroU autres colonne* 
poor dicfk le Cotnte SamoTlow, lea g^n<!raux Elie de Bczborodko, 
le« brigadiers Orlow, Platow, Ribaupierre. La 
par eau n'avait que deux colonnes, sous les ordres det 
RitMta et Ars^niew, des brigadiers Markoff et Tchep^ga," 
ke.^ai$t.telaN.R. p. 207.] 

N 4 



Little cared they for Mahomet or Mufti, 

Unless to make their kettle-drums a new skin 
Out of their hides, if parchment had grown dear, 
And no more handy substitute been near. 


Then there were foreigners of much renown, 
Of various nations, and all volunteers ; 

Not fighting for their country or its crown, 
But wishing to be one day brigadiers : 

Also to have the sacking of a town ; 

A pleasant thing to young men at their years. 

'Mongst them were several Englishmen of pith. 

Sixteen call'd Thomson, and nineteen named Smith. 

Jack Thomson and Bill Thomson; — all the rest 

Had been call'd " Jemmy" after the great bard ; 
I don't know whether they had arms or crest. 

But such a godfather 's as good a card. 
Three of the Smiths were Peters ; but the best 

Amongst them all, hard blows to inflict or ward, 
Was Ae, since so renown'd " in country quarters 
At Halifax ;"(^) but now he served the Tartars. 


The rest were Jacks and Gills and Wills and Bills ; 

But when I Ve added that the elder Jack Smith 
Was born in Cumberland among the hills. 

And that his father was an honest blacksmith, 

(1) [See the farce of" Love Laughs at Locksmiths."] 


DON JUAN. 185 

I 've said all / know of a name that fills [smith," 
Three lines of the despatch in taking " Schmack- 
A village of Moldavia's waste, wherein 
He fell, immortal in a bulletin. 

I wonder (although Mars no doubt's a god I 

Praise) if a man's name in a bulletin 
May make up for a bullet in his body ? 

I hope this little question is no sin. 
Because, though I am but a simple noddy, 

I tliink one Shakspeare puts the same thought in 
The mouth of some one in his plays so doting. 
Which many people pass for wits by quoting. 

Then there were Frenchmen, gallant, young, and gay : 

But I 'm too great a patriot to record 
Their Gallic names upon a glorious day ; 

I 'd rather tell ten lies than say a word 
Of truth ; — such truths are treason ; they betray 

Their country ; and as traitors are abhorr'd 
Wlio name the French in English, save to show 
How Peace should make John Bull the Frenchman's 


The Russians, having built two batteries on 
An isle near Ismail, had two ends in view ; 

The first was to bombard it, and knock down 
The public buildings and the private too, 



No matter what poor souls might be undone. 
The city's shape suggested this, 'tis true; 
Form'd like an amphitheatre, each dwelling 
Presented a fine mark to throw a shell in.(i) 


The second object was to profit by 

The moment of the general consternation, 

To attack the Turk's flotilla, which lay nigh 
Extremely tranquil, anchor'd at its station : 

But a third motive was as probably 
To frighten them into capitulation ; (2) 

A phantasy which sometimes seizes warriors. 

Unless they are game as bull-dogs and fox-terriers. 


A habit rather blamable, which is 

That of despising those we combat with. 

Common in many cases, was in this 

The cause p) of killing Tchitchitzkoff and Smith ; 

(1) [" On s'^tait propose deux buts ^galement avantageux, par la con- 
Btruction de deux batteries sur Hie qui avoisine Ismael : le premier, de 
bombarder la place, d'en abattre les principaux edifices avec du canon de 
quarante-huit, effet d'autant plus probable, que la ville ^tant batie en am- 
phitheatre, presque aucun coup ne serait perdu," — Hist, de la Nouvelle 
Rusiie, p. 203.] 

(2) [" Le second objet etait de profiter de ce moment d'alarme pour 
que la flotille, agissant en meme temps, pilt d^truire celle des Turcs. Un 
troisi^me motif, et vraisemblement le plus plausible, etait de jeter la con- 
sternation parmi les Turcs, et de les engager k capituler." — Ibid. p. 203.] 

(3) ["Un habitude blamable, celle de mepriser son ennemi, fut la 
cause." — /Wrf. p. 203.] 

s . , DON JUAN. 187 

One of the valorous " Smiths " whom we shall miss 

Out of those nineteen who late rhymed to " pith ;'* 

But 'tis a name so spread o'er " Sir" and " Madam," 

That one would think the first who bore it " Adam." 


The Russian batteries were incomplete, 

Because they were constructed' in a. hurry ;(^) 

Thus the same cause which makes a verse want feet. 
And throws a cloud o'er Longman and John Murray, 

When the sale of new books is not so fleet 
As they who print them think is necessary, 

May likewise put off for a time what story 

Sometimes calls " murder," and at others " glory." 


WTiether it was their engineer's stupidity. 

Their haste, or waste, I neither know nor care, 

Or some contractor's personal cupidity. 
Saving his soul by cheating in the ware 

Of homicide, but there was no solidity 
In the new batteries erected there ;(^) 

They either miss'd, or they were never miss'd, 

And added greatly to the missing list. 


A sad miscalculation about distance 
Made all their naval matters incorrect ; 

Three fireships lost their amiable existence 
Before they reach'd a spot to take effect : 

(1) [. . . '^ du dt Taut de perfection dans la construction de» batteries ; 
OB vouUtt a«ir promptement, et on n^gligea dc donner aux ouvraget H 
•etUili qu'ila cxigaicnt."— Ilitt. de la N. R. p. 203.] 


The match was lit too soon, and no assistance 

Could remedy this lubberly defect ; 
They blew up in the middle of the river, [ever.(^) 
While, though 't was dawn, the Turks slept fast as 


At seven they rose, however, and surveyed 
The Russ flotilla getting under way ; 

'Twas nine, when still advancing undismay'd, 
Within a cable's length their vessels lay 

Ofl" Ismail, and commenced a cannonade. 
Which was return'd with interest, I may say. 

And by a fire of musketry and grape. 

And shells and shot of every size and shape. (2) 


For six hours bore they without intermission 
The Turkish fire, and aided by their own 

Land batteries, work'd their guns with great precision : 
At length they found mere cannonade alone 

By no means would produce the town's submission. 
And made a signal to retreat at one. 

One bark blew up, a second near the works 

Running aground, was taken by the Turks. (^) 

(1) [" On calcula mal la distance; la meme esprit fit manquer I'efFet 
de trois brtllots ; on se pressa d'allumer la meche, ils br(ilferent au milieu 
du fleuve, et, quoiqu'il fCit six heures du matin, les Turcs, encore couches, 
n'en prirent aucun ombrage. — Hist, de la N. R. p. 203.] 

(2) [" 1" Dec. 1790. La flotille Russe s'avan(;a vers les sept heures ; 
U en etait neuf lorsqu'elle se trouva k cinquante toises de la ville d'Ismael : 
die souffirit, avec une Constance calme, un feu de mitraille et de mous- 
queterie . . ." — Ibid. p. 204.] 

(3) [ . • - " prfes de six heures : les batteries de terre secondaient la 
flotille; mais on reconnOt alors que les canonnades ne sufRsaient pas 
pour r^duire la place, on fit la retraite k une heure. Un lanQon sauta 
pendant Taction, un autre d^riva par la force du courant, et fut pris par 
les Turcs. " — /Wrf. p. 204.] 


DON JUAN. 189 


The Moslem, too, had lost both ships and men ; 

But when they saw the enemy retire. 
Their Delhis{') mann'd some boats, and sail'd again, 

And gaird the Russians with a heavy fire, 
And tried to make a landing on the main ; 

But here the effect fell short of their desire : 
Count Damas drove them back into the water 
Pell-mell, and with a whole gazette of slaughter. (2) 


• If" (says the historian here) " I could report 
All that the Russians did upon this day, 

I think that several volumes would fall short. 
And I should still have many things to say;" (3) 

And so he says no more — but pays his court 
To some distinguish'd strangers in that fray ; 

The Prince de Ligne, and Langeron, and Damas, 

Names great as any that the roll of Fame has. (^) 

(1) " Properly madmen : a species of troops who, in the Turkish army, 
act at the forlorn hope." — D'Herbelot.] 

(2) " Le« Turcs perdirent beaucoup de monde et plusieurs vaisseaux : h 
peine la retraite de« Riuses fut-elle remarquee, que les plus braves d'entre 
let ennemu le jetirent dans de petites barques et essayfercnt une descente : 
le Comte de Damas les mit en fuite, et leur tua plusieurs officiers ct grand 
nombre de •oldaU." — Hist, de la N. R. p. 204.] 

(3) [" On ne tarirait paa si on voulait rapporter tout ce que les Russes 
firent dc rofoiorable dans cette joum^e ; pour center les hauts fait« 
d'armes, pour particulariacr toutet les actions d'eclat, il faudrait composer 
dea volume*." — Ibid. p. 204.] 

(4 *• Panni lea toaogen, le Prince de Ligne se distingua de manifere d 
m^riu<r rettime fte^rale ; devrais chevaliers Frangais, attires par I'amour 
de la gkrire, ae nM»trirent digncs d'elle : les plus marquans etaient le 
jcune Due <!• Ricbdieu, les Comtes de Langeron et de Damas." — /6i(f. 

190 DON JUAN. CANTO vii. 


This being the case, may show us what Fame is : 
For out of these three " preux Chevaliers" how 

Many of common readers give a guess 

That such existed ? (and they may live now 

For aught we know.) Renown 's all hit or miss ; 
There 's fortune even in fame, we must allow. 

'Tis true, the Memoirs (^) of the Prince de Ligne(2) 

Have half withdrawn from him oblivion's screen. 


But here are men who fought in gallant actions 

As gallantly as ever heroes fought. 
But buried in the heap of such transactions 

Their names are rarely found, nor often sought. 
Thus even good fame may suffer sad contractions, 

And is extinguish'd sooner than she ought : 
Of all our modern battles, I will bet 
You can't repeat nine names from each Gazette. 


In short, this last attack, though rich in glory, 
Show'd that somewhere, somehow, there was a fault, 

And Admiral Ribas (known in Russian story) , 
Most strongly recommended an assault ; 

(1) [" Letters and Reflections of the Austrian Field-Marshal, Charles 
Joseph, Prince de Lignfe, edited by the Baroness de Stael-Holstein," 2 vols. 

(2) [Charles Joseph, Comte de Ligne, was born at Brussels. Being, in 
1782, sent by the Emperor Joseph II. on a mission to Catherine, he became 
a great favourite with her. She appointed him field-marshal, and gave him 
an estate in the Crimea. In 1788, he v,as sent to assist Potemkin at the 
siege of Oczakoflf. He died in 1814.] 

CANTO vn. DON JUAN. 191 

In which he was opposed by young and hoary, (^) 

Which made a long debate ; but I must halt, 
For if I wrote down every warrior's speech, 
I doubt few readers e'er would mount the breach. 


There was a man, if that he was a man. 

Not tliat his manhood could be call'd in question, 

For had he not been Hercules, his span 
Had been as short in youth as indigestion 

Made his last illness, when, all worn and wan. 
He died beneath a tree, as much unblest on 

The soil of the green province he had wasted. 

As e'er was locust on the land it blasted. 


This was Potemkin (^) — a great thing in days 
When homicide and harlotry made great; 

If stars and titles could entail long praise, 
His glory might half equal his estate. 

1 " L'Amiral Ribas declara, en ple'm conseil, que ce n'etait qu'en 
liuiinant I'assaut qu'on obtiendrait la place : cet avis parut hardi ; on lui 
oppon mille raisoni, auxquelles il r^pondit par de meilleures." — ^ji<. 
Ar la X. R. p. 205.] 

(2) [The following character of Prince Potemkin is from the pen of 
Count S^gur, who lived in habits of intimacy with him : — " In his person 
were collected the most opposite defects and advantages of every kind. He 
WM avaricious and ostentatious, despotic and obliging, politic and confiding, 
loentioui and superstitious, bold and timid, ambitious and indiscreet ; 
larish of his bounties to his relations, his mistresses, and his favourites, 
yet flnequently paying neither his household nor his creditors. His conse- 
qoenoe alwayi depended on a woman, and he was always unfaithful to her. 
Nothing could equal the activity of his mind, nor the indolence of his body. 
No dangen could appal his courage ; no difficulties force him to abandon 
bii project*. But the succeu of an enterprise always brought on disgust 


This fellow, being six foot high, could raise 

A kind of phantasy proportionate 
In the then sovereign of the Russian people. 
Who measured men as you would do a steeple. 


While things were in abeyance, Ribas sent 
A courier to the prince, and he succeeded 

In ordering matters after his own bent ; 
I cannot tell the way in which he pleaded, 

But shortly he had cause to be content. 
In the mean time, the batteries proceeded, 

And fourscore cannon on the Danube's border 

Were briskly fired and answer'd in due order. (^) 

Every thing with him was desultory ; business, pleasure, temper, courage 
His presence was a restraint on every company. He was morose to all that 
stood in awe of him, and caressed all such as accosted him with familiarity. 
None had read less than he; few people were better informed. One while 
he formed the project of becoming Duke of Courland ; at another be 
thought of bestowing on himself the crown of Poland. He frequently 
gave intimation of an intention to make himself a bishop, or even a simple 
monk. He built a superb palace, and wanted to fell it before it was finished. 
In his youth he had pleased Catherine by the ardour of his passion, by his 
valour, and by his masculine beauty. Become the rival of Orloff, he per- 
formed for his sovereign whatever the most romantic passion could inspire. 
He put out an eye, to free it from a blemish which diminished his beauty. 
Banished by his rival, he ran to meet death in battle, and returned with 
glory. He died in 1791, at the age of fifty-two."] 

CI) [" Ce projet, remis k un autre jour, ^prouva encore les plus grandes 
difficult^s ; le courage de Ribas les surmonta : il ne s'agissait que de de- 
terminer le Prince Potiemkin ; il y reussit Tandis qu'il se demenait pour 
I'ex^cution de projet agre^, on construisait de nouvelles liatteries ; on 
comptait, le 12 Decembre, quatre-vingts pidces de canon sur le bord du 
Danube, et cette journee se passa en vives canonnades. — Histoirc de la 
Kouvelle Rtissie, torn. ii. p. 205.] 


DON JUAN. 193 


But on the thirteenth, when already part 

Of the troops were embark'd, the siege to raise, 

A courier on the spur inspired new heart 
Into all panters for newspaper praise, 

As well as dilettanti in war's art, 

By his despatches couch'd in pithy phrase ; 

Announcing the appointment of that lover of 

Battles to the command, Field-Marshal SouvarofF.(') 


The letter of the prince to the same marshal 
Was worthy of a Spartan, had the cause 

Been one to which a good heart could be partial— 
Defence of freedom, country, or of laws ; 

But as it was mere lust of power to o'er-arch all 
With its proud brow, it merits slight applause, 

Save for its style, which said, all in a trice, 

" You will take Ismail at whatever price." (2) 


** Let there be light ! said God, and there was light I" 
" Let there be blood !" says, and there's a sea ! 

The fiat of this spoil'd child of the Night 
(For Day ne'er saw his merits) could decree 

(1) [" MaU le 13*, une partie des troupes ^tait embarquee ; on allait 
lerer le iihgc : un courrier arrive ; ce courrier annonce, de la part du 
Prince, que le Marechal Souwarow va prendre le comniandement de? 
forces n'unics tous Ismael." — Ilitt. de la X. R. p. 205.] 

(2) [" I^ Icttre du Prince Potiemkin a Souwarow est trfeg-courte ; olle 
peint le caracttee de ces deux i^ersonnages. I^ voici dans toute >a teneur : 
• Voui prendm Itmait u qtul prtx que ce toit / '" — Ibid. p. 205.] 



More evil in an hour, than thirty bright 

Summers could renovate, though they should be 
Lovely as those which ripen'd Eden's fruit ; 
For war cuts up not only branch, but root. 


Our friends the Turks, who with loud " Allahs" now 
Began to signalise the Russ retreat, (^) 

Were damnably mistaken ; £ew are slow 
In thinking that their enemy is beat, 

(Or beaten, \^ you insist on grammar, though 
I never think about it in a heat,) 

But here I say the Turks were much mistaken, 

"Who hating hogs, yet wish'd to save their bacon. 


For, on the sixteenth, at full gallop, drew 

In sight two horsemen, who were deem'd Cossacques 

For some time, till they came in nearer view. 
They had but little baggage at their backs, 

For there were but three shirts between the two ; 
But on they rode upon two Ukraine hacks, 

Till, in approaching, were at length descried 

In this plain pair, Suwarrow and his guide. (2) 

(1) f" Le courrier est temoin des cris de joie (Allahs) du Turc, qui se 
croyait a la fin de ses maux." — Hist, de la N. R. p. 205.] 

(2) [" Le 16 , on voit venir de loin deux hommes courant k toute bride : 
on les prit pour des Kosaks ; I'un etait Souwarow, et I'autre son guide, 
portant un paquet gros comme le poing, et renfermant le bagage du 
general." — /fifd. p. 205.] 



" Great joy to London now !" says some great fool, 
When London had a grand illumination. 

Which to that bottle-conjuror, John Bull, 
Is of all dreams the first hallucination ; 

So that the streets of colour'd lamps are full, 
That Sage (^said John) surrenders at discretion 

His purse, his soul, his sense, and even his nonsense, 

To gratify, like a huge moth, this one sense. 


'Tis strange that he should farther " damn his eyes,' 
For they are damn'd ; that once all-famous oath 

Is to the devil now no farther prize, 

Since John has lately lost the use of both. 

Debt he calls wealth, and taxes Paradise ; 

And Famine, with her gaunt and bony growth, 

Which stare him in the face, he won't examine, 

Or swears that Ceres hath begotten Famine. 


But to the tale ; — great joy unto the camp ! 

To Russian, Tartar, English, French, Cossacque, 
O'er whom Suwarrow shone like a gas lamp. 

Presaging a most luminous attack ; 
Or like a wisp along the marsh so damp. 

Which leads beholders on a boggy walk. 
He flitted to and fro a dancing light. 
Which all who saw it followed, wrong or right. 
o 2 



But certes matters took a different face ; 

There was enthusiasm and much applause, 
The fleet and camp saluted with great grace, 

And all presaged good fortune to their cause. 
Within a cannon-shot length of the place 

They drew, constructed ladders, repair'd flaws 
In former works, made new, prepared fascines, Q) 
And all kinds of benevolent machines. 


'Tis thus the spirit of a single mind 

Makes that of multitudes take one direction. 

As roll the waters to the breathing wind. 

Or roams the herd beneath the bull's protection ; 

Or as a little dog will lead the blind. 

Or a bell-wether form the flock's connection 

By tinkling sounds^ when they go forth to victual ; 

Such is the sway of your great men o'er little. 


The whole camp rung with joy; you would have 

That they were going to a marriage feast 
(This metaphor^ I think, holds good as aught. 

Since there is discord after both at least) : 

(1) Z" Les succfes multiplies de Souwarow, sa bravoure k toute 6preuve, 
Ja confidence que le soldat avait en lui, produisirent un enthousiasme 
g^ndral : une salve des batteries du camp et de la flotte c^lebrfirent son 
arrivee, et I'espoir du succfes ranima les esprits. Les choses prennent le 
meme jour une autre tournure; le camp se rapproche et s'^tablit k la 
portee du canon de la place ; on prepare des fascines on construit des 
€chelles, on ^tablit des batteries nouvelles." — ///s<. de la N. R. p. 206.] 


DON JUAN. 197 

There was not now a luggage boy but sought 

Danger and spoil with ardour much increased ;(^) 
And why? because a little — odd — old man, 
Stript to his shirt, was come to lead the van. 


But so it was ; and every preparation 
Was made with all alacrity : the first 

Detachment of three columns took its station, 
And waited but the signal's voice to burst 

Upon the foe: the second's ordination 
Was also in three columns, with a thirst 

For glory gaping o'er a sea of slaughter : 

The third, in columns two, attack'd by water. (2) 


New batteries were erected, and was held 
A general council, in which unanimity, 

That stranger to most councils, here prevaird,(3) 
As sometimes happens in a great extremity ; 

And every difficulty being dispell'd, 

Glory began to dawn with due sublimity. 

While SouvarofF, determined to obtain it, 

Was teaching his recruits to use the bayonet. ("*) 

(1) [" L'ardeur de Souwarow, son incroyable activit(?, son m^pris dcs 
dangers, sa pretque certitude de reussir, son ime enfin s'est communiquee 
ii Vaimkc; U n'cst pas jucqu'au dernier goujat qui nc desire d'obtenir 
I'honneur de monter it I'assaut"— Hist, de la N. li. p. 206.] 

(2) [La premiere attaque^taitcomposee de trois colonnes— .trois autrcs 
— ilonne*, df rtin t w k la Mconde attaque, avaient pour chefs, &c. — la troi- 

•;me attaque par era n'vrolt que deux colonnes." — /AtV/. p. 207. 

(3) [** On cooatniiait de nouTellcs batteries le 18'. On tint un conseil de 
guerre, on y examina lea plana pour I'asaaut ; ilt r^unirent tous Ics souf. 
tnse»."—Ibid. p. seal 

(4) Fact : Suwaroffdid thU in person. 

o 3 

198 - DON JUAN. CANTO vir. 


It is an actual fact, that he, commander 
In chief, in proper person deign'd to drill 

The awkward squad, and could afford to squander 
His time, a corporal's duty to fulfil ; 

Just as you'd break a sucking salamander 
To swallow flame, and never take it ill : 

He show'd them how to mount a ladder (which 

Was not like Jacob's) or to cross a ditch. (i) 

Also he dress'd up, for the nonce, fascines 

Like men with turbans, scimitars, and dirks, 
And made them charge with bayonet these machines, 

By way of lesson against actual Turks ; (2) 
And when well practised in these mimic scenes. 

He judged them proper to assail the works ; 
At which your wise men sneer'd in phrases witty : 
He made no answer ; but he took the city. 


Most things were in this posture on the eve 
Of the assault, and all the camp was in 

A stern repose ; which you would scarce conceive ; 
Yet men resolved to dash through thick and thin 

Are very silent when they once believe 
That all is settled: — there was little din, 

For some were thinking of their home and friends, 

And others of themselves and latter ends. 

(1) [" Le 19= ct le 20% Souwarow exercpa les soldats ; il leur montra com- 
ment il fallait s'y prendre pour escalader; il enseigna aux recrues la 
maniere de donncr !e coup de baionette." — J/^m/. de la X. B. p. 208.] 

(2) [" Pour ces exercices d'un nouveau genre, il se servit de fascines 
disposees de manifere h. rcpr^senter un Turc." — /6id. p. 208.] 



Suwarrow chiefly was on the alert, 

Surveying, drilling, ordering, jesting, pondering; 
For the man was, we safely may assert, 

A thing to wonder at beyond most wondering ; 
Hero, buffoon, half-demon, and half-dirt, 

Praying, instructing, desolating, plundering ; 
Now Mars, now Momus ; and when bent to storm 
A fortress, Harlequin in uniform. 


The day before the assault, while upon drill — 
For this great conqueror play'd the corporal — 

Some Cossacques, hovering like hawks round a hill, 
Had met a party towards the twilight's fall. 

One of whom spoke their tongue — or well or ill, 
'Twas much that he was understood at all; 

But whether from his voice, or speech, or manner. 

They found that he had fought beneath their banner. 


Whereon immediately at his request 

They brought him and his comrades to head- 
quarters ; 
Their dress was Moslem, but you might have guess'd 

That these were merely masquerading Tartars, 
And that beneath each Turkish-fashion'd vest 

Lurk'd Christianity ; which sometimes barters 
Her inward grace for outward show, and makes 
It difficult to shun some strange mistakes. 
o 4 




Suwarrow, who was standing in his shirt 
Before a company of Cal mucks, drilling, 

Exclaiming, fooling, swearing at the inert, 
And lecturing on the noble art of killing,— 

For deeming human clay but common dirt, 
This great philosopher was thus instilling 

His maxims, which to martial comprehension 

Proved death in battle equal to a pension ; — 


Suwarrow, when he saw this company [cast 

Of Cossacques and their prey, turn'd round and 

Upon them his slow brow and piercing eye : — [last, 
"Whence come ye?" — "From Constantinople 

Captives just now escaped," was the reply, [pass'd 
" What are ye?" — " Wliat you see us." Briefly 

This dialogue ; for he who answer' d knew 

To whom he spoke, and made his words but few. 


" Your names?" — " Mine's Johnson, and my com- 
rade 's Juan ; 

The other two are women, and the third 
Is neither man nor woman." The chief threw on 

The party a slight glance, then said, " I have heard 
Your name before, the second is a new one : 

To bring the other three here was absurd : 
But let that pass : — I think I have heard your name 
In the Nikolaiew regiment?" — " The same." 


DON JUAN. 201 


« You served at Widdin ?" — « Yes." — « You led 
the attack?" [know." 

"I did."— " What next?"— " I really hardly 
" You were the first i' the breach?" — " I was not slack 

At least to follow those who might be so." 
" WTiat follow'd?" — " A shot laid me on my back, 

And I became a prisoner to the foe." 
" You shall have vengeance, for the town surromided 
Is twice as strong as that where you were wounded, 


" Where will you serve?" — " Where'er you please." 
— "I know 

You like to be the hope of the forlorn, 
And doubtless would be foremost on the foe 

After the hardships you've already borne. 
And this young fellow — say what can he do? 

He with the beardless chin and garments torn ? " 
'' WTiy, general, if he hath no greater fault 
In war than love, he had better lead the assault." 


" He shall if that he dare." Here Juan bow'd 
Low as the compliment deserved. Suwarrow 

Continued: « Your old regiment's allow' d. 
By special providence, to lead to-morrow. 

Or it may be to-night, the assault : I have vow'd 
To several saints, that shortly plough or harrow 

Shall pass o'er what was Ismail, and its tusk 

Be unimpeded by the proudest mosque. 

202 DON JUAN. CANTO vir. 


" So now, my lads, for glory ! " — Here he turn'd 
And drill'd away in the most classic Russian, 

Until each high, heroic bosom burn'd 

For cash and conquest, as if from a cushion 

A preacher had held forth (who nobly spurn'd [on 
All earthly goods save tithes) and bade them push 

To slay the Pagans who resisted, battering 

The armies of the Christian Empress Catherine. 


Johnson, who knew by this long colloquy 
Himself a favourite, ventured to address 

Suwarrow, though engaged with accents high 
In his resumed amusement. " I confess 

My debt in being thus allow'd to die 

Among the foremost; but if you'd express 

Explicitly our several posts, my friend 

And self would know what duty to attend." 


" Right ! I was busy, and forgot. Why, you 
Will join your former regiment, which should be 

Now under arms. Ho ! KatskofF, take him to — 
(Here he call'd up a PoHsh orderly) 

His post, I mean the regiment Nikolaiew: 
The stranger stripling may remain with me ; 

He's a fine boy. The women may be sent 

To the other baggage, or to the sick tent." 



But here a sort of scene began to ensue : 

The ladies, — who by no means had been bred 

To be disposed of in a way so new, 
Although their haram education led 

Doubtless to that of doctrines the most true, 
Passive obedience, — now raised up the head. 

With flashing eyes and starting tears, and flung 

Their arms, as hens their wings about their young, 


O'er the promoted couple of brave men 

Who were thus honour'd by the greatest chief 

That ever peopled hell with heroes slain. 
Or plunged a province or a realm in grief. 

Oh, foolish mortals ! Always taught in vain ! 
Oh, glorious laurel ! since for one sole leaf 

Of thine imaginary deathless tree. 

Of blood and tears must flow the unebbing sea. 


Suwarrow, who had small regard for tears, 
And not much sympathy for blood, surveyed 

The women with their hair about their ears 
And natural agonies, with a slight shade 

Of feeling: for however habit sears [trade 

Men's hearts against whole millions, when their 

Is butchery, sometimes a single sorrow 

Will touch even heroes — and such was Suwarrow. 

204> DON JUAN. 

CANTO vn. 


He said^ — and in the kindest Calmuck tone, — 
" Why, Johnson, what the devil do you mean 

By bringing women here ? They shall be shown 
All the attention possible, and seen 

In safety to the waggons, where alone 

In fact they can be safe. You should have been 

Aware this kind of baggage never thrives : 

Save wed a year, I hate recruits with wives." 


" May it please your excellency, " thus replied 
Our British friend, " these are the wives of others. 

And not our own. I am too qualified 
By service with my military brothers 

To break the rules by bringing one's own bride 
Into a camp : I know that nought so bothers 

The hearts of the heroic on a charge, 

As leaving a small family at large. 


" But these are but two Turkish ladies, who 
With their attendant aided our escape. 

And afterwards accompanied us through 
A thousand perils in this dubious shape. 

To me this kind of life is not so new ; 

To them, poor things, it is an awkward scrape 

I therefore, if you wish me to fight freely, 

Request that they may both be used genteelly." 

CANTO vii. DON JUAN. 205 


Meantime these two poor girls, with swimming eyes, 
Look'd on as if in doubt if they could trust 

Their own protectors ; nor was their surprise 
Less than their grief (and truly not less just) 

To see an old man, rather wild than wise 
In aspect, plainly clad, besmear'd with dust, 

Stript to his waistcoat, and that not too clean, 

More fear'd than all the sultans ever seen. 


For every thing seem'd resting on his nod, 

As they could read in all eyes. Now to them, 

WTio were accustom'd, as a sort of god, 
To see the sultan, rich in many a gem, 

Like an imperial peacock stalk abroad 
(That royal bird, whose tail's a diadem,) 

With all the pomp of power, it was a doubt 

How power could condescend to do without. 


John Johnson, seeing their extreme dismay, 
Though little versed in feelings oriental. 

Suggested some slight comfort in his way : 
Don Juan, who was much more sentimental, 

Swore they should see him by the dawn of day, 
Or that the Russian army should repent all : 

And, strange to say, they found some consolation 

In this — for females like exaggeration. 



And then with tears, and sighs, and some slight kisses, 
They parted for the present — these to await, 

According to the artillery's hits or misses. 

What sages call Chance, Providence, or Fate — 

(Uncertainty is one of many blisses, 
A mortgage on Humanity's estate) — 

While their beloved friends began to arm. 

To burn a town which never did them harm. 


Suwarrow, — who but saw things in the gross, 
Being much too gross to see them in detail. 

Who calculated life as so much dross. 
And as the wind a widow'd nation's wail, 

And cared as little for his army's loss 

(So that their efforts should at length prevail) 

As wife and friends did for the boils of Job, — 

What was't to him to hear two women sob? 


Nothing. — The work of glory still went on ' 

In preparations for a cannonade 
As terrible as that of Ilion, 

If Homer had found mortars ready made ; 
But now, instead of slaying Priam's son, 

We only can but talk of escalade, [bullets ; 

Bombs, drums, guns, bastions, batteries, bayonets. 
Hard words, which stick in the soft Muses' gullets. 



Oh, thou eternal Homer ! who couldst charm 
All ears, though long ; all ages, though so short, 

By merely M'ielding with poetic arm 

Arms to which men will never more resort, 

Unless gunpowder should be found to harm 
Much less than is the hope of every court. 

Which now is leagued young Freedom to annoy ; 

But they will not find Liberty a Troy: — 


Oh, thou eternal Homer ! I have now 

To paint a siege, wherein more men were slain, 

With deadlier engines and a speedier blow. 
Than in thy Greek gazette of that campaign ; 

And yet, like all men else, I must allow. 
To vie with thee would be about as vain 

As for a brook to cope with ocean's flood ; 

But still we moderns equal you in blood ; 


If not in poetry, at least in fact ; 

And fact is truth, the grand desideratum I 
Of which, howe'er the Muse describes each act, 

There should be ne'ertheless a slight substratum. 
But now the town is going to be attacked ; 

Great deeds are doing — how shall I relate 'em? 
Souls of immortal generals ! Phcebus watches 
To colour up his rays from your despatches. 

208 DON JUAN, CANTO vn. 


Oh, ye great bulletins of Bonaparte ! 

Oh, ye less grand long lists of kill'd and wounded ! 
Shade of Leonidas, who fought so hearty, 

When my poor Greece was once, as now, sur- 
rounded ! 
Oh, Caesar's Commentaries ! now impart, ye 

Shadows of glory ! (lest I be confounded) 
A portion of your fading twilight hues. 
So beautiful, so fleeting, to the Muse. 


When I call " fading" martial immortality, 
I mean, that every age and every year, 

And almost every day, in sad reality. 
Some sucking hero is compell'd to rear. 

Who, when we come to sum up the totality 
Of deeds to human happiness most dear. 

Turns out to be a butcher in great business, 

Afflicting young folks with a sort of dizziness. 


Medals, rank, ribands, lace, embroidery, scarlet. 
Are things immortal to immortal man, 

As purple to the Babylonian harlot : 
An uniform to boys is like a fan 

To women ; there is scarce a crimson varlet 
But deems himself the first in Glory's van. 

But Glory's glory; and if you would find 

What that is — ask the pig who sees the wind! 

.sro%H. DON JUAN. 209 


At least he feels it, and some say he sees. 
Because he runs before it like a pig ; 

Or, if that simple sentence should displease, 
Say, that he scuds before it like a brig, 

A schooner, or — but it is time to ease 

This Canto, ere my Muse perceives fatigue. 

The next shall ring a peal to shake all people. 

Like a bob-major from a village steeple. 


Hark ! through the silence of the cold, dull night, 
The hum of armies gathering rank on rank I 

Lo ! dusky masses steal in dubious sight 
Along the leaguer'd wall and bristling bank 

Of the arm'd river, while with straggling light 
The stars peep through the vapours dim and dank, 

Which curl in curious wreaths: — how soon the smoke 

Of Hell shall pall them in a deeper cloak I 


Here pause we for the present — as even then 
That awful pause, dividing life from death, 

Struck for an instant on the hearts of men, 

Thousands of whom were drawing their last breath I 

A moment — and all will be life again I 

The march ! the charge I the shouts of either faith I 

Hurra I and Allah ! and — one moment more — 

The death-cry drowning in the battle's roar. 

VOL. XVI. p 



: ; [ThU Canto it almost entirely filled with the taking of Ismail by 
•torm. It would be absurd to attempt, in prose, even a feeble outline of the 
varied borron which marked that celebrated scene of ruthless and indis- 
criminate carnage ; the noble writer has depicted them with all that vivid 
and appalling fidelity, which, on such a theme, might be expected from his 
powerflil muae; and, if any thing can add to the shuddering sensation we 
experience is reading these terrific details, it is the consideration, that 
poetry, in this Imtancf, instead of dealing in fiction, must necessarily relate 
a tale that (alia abort of the truth. — Campbell.] 

p 2 





Oh blood and thunder ! and oh blood and wounds ! 

Tliese are but vulgar oaths, as you may deem, 
Too gentle reader ! and most shocking sounds : 

And so they are ; yet thus is Glory's dream 
Unriddled, and as my true Muse expounds 

At present such things, since they are her theme, 
So be they her inspirers I Call them Mars, 
Bellona, what you will — they mean but wars. 

Ml was prepared — the fire, the sword, the men 

i'o wield them in their terrible array. 
] lie army, like a lion from his den, 

March'd forth with nerve and sinews bent to slay, — 
A human Hydra, issuing from its fen 

To breathe destruction on its winding way, 
Whose heads were heroes, which cut off in vain 
Immediately in others grew again. 
p 3 

214 DON JUAN. 



History can only take things in the gross ; 

But could we know them in detail, perchance 
In balancing the profit and the loss, 

War's merit it by no means might enhance, 
To waste so much gold for a little dross. 

As hath been done, mere conquest to advance. 
The drying up a single tear has more 
Of honest fame, than shedding seas of gore. 


And why? — because it brings self-approbation; 

Whereas the other, after all its glare. 
Shouts, bridges, arches, pensions from a nation. 

Which (it may be) has not much left to spare, 
A higher title, or a loftier station. 

Though they may make Corruption gape or stare, 
Yet, in the end, except in Freedom's battles. 
Are nothing but a child of Murder's rattles. 


And such they are — and such they will be found: 

Not so Leonidas and Washington, 
Whose every battle-field is holy ground, 

Which breathes of nations saved, not worlds undone. 
How sweetly on the ear such echoes sound ! 

While the mere victor's may appal or stun 
The servile and the vain, such names will be 
A watchword till the future shall be free. 


DON JUAN. 215 


The night was dark, and the thick mist allow'd 
Nought to be seen save the artillery's flame, 

WTiich arch'd the horizon like a fiery cloud, 

And in the Danube's waters shone the same — (^) 

A mirrored hell ! the volleying roar, and loud 
Long booming of each peal on peal, overcame 

The ear far more than thunder ; for Heaven's flashes 

Spare, or smite rarely — man's make millions ashes I 


The column order'd on the assault scarce pass*d 
Beyond the Russian batteries a few toises, 

When up the bristling Moslem rose at last, 

Answering the Christian thunders with like voices: 

Then one vast fire, air, earth, and stream embraced, 
WTiich rock'd as 'twere beneath the mighty noises ; 

While the whole rampart blazed like Etna, when 

The restless Titan hiccups in his den. (2) 

(1) [" La nuit ^tait obscure ; un brouillard ^pais ne nous permettait de 
Attingucr autre chose que le feu de notre artillerie, dont I'horizon ^tait 
embrasc de tou« c6tfes : ce feu, partant du milieu du Danube, se r^flfe- 
chtssait sur les eaux, ct oflVait un coup d'oeil tr^singulier." — ^2«/. de la 
liowteUe Ruatie^ torn. iii. p. 20913 

{T) [" *A peine cuton parcouru I'cspace de quelques toises au-deli des 
batterie«, que Ics Turcs, qui n'avaient point tirfe i)endant toute la nuit, 
•'apptTQCvant de no* mouTcraens, commenctrent de lour cAtfe un feu 
trfe»-Tif, qui nnbran le rwte de I'horizon : mais ce fut bien autre chose 
lorsque, avances dAvantage, le feu de la mousqueterie commen^a dans 
toutc I't'tenduc du rempart que nous appercevions. Ce fut alors que la 
place parut k noa yeux comme un volcan dont le feu sortait de toutes par- 

P 4 

216 DON JUAN. CANTO vm. 


And one enormous shout of " Allah !"(i) rose 
In the same moment, loud as even the roar 

Of war's most mortal engines, to their foes 
Hurling defiance : city, stream, and shore 

Resounded " Allah ! " and the clouds which close 
With thick'ning canopy the conflict o'er, 

Vibrate to the Eternal name. Hark ! through 

All sounds it pierceth " Allah ! Allah ! Hu !" (2) 


Tlie columns were in movement one and all, 
But of the portion which attack'd by water. 

Thicker than leaves the lives began to fal],(^) 
Though led by Arseniew, that great son of slaughter, 

As brave as ever faced both bomb and ball. 

" Carnage " (so Wordsworth tells you) " is God's 
daughter :"(■*) 

If he speak truth, she is Christ's sister, and 

Just now behaved as in the Holy Land. 

(1) [" Un cri universel A' Allah ! qui se rep^tait tout autour de la ville, 
vint encore rendre plus extraordinaire cet instant, dont il est impossible de 
se faire une idee." — Hist, de la N. R. p. 209.] 

(2) Allah Hu ! is properly the war cry of the Mussulmans, and they 
dwell on the last syllable, which gives it a wild and peculiar effect 

(3) [" Toutes les colonnes ^talent en mouvement ; celles qui attaquaient 
par eau commandees par le gt^niJral Arseniew, essuyferent un feu ^pou- 
vantable, et perdirent avant le jour un tiers de leurs officiers." — Ibid.'} ', 

(4) " But Thy * most dreaded instrument 

In working out a pure intent. 

Is man array'd for mutual slaughter ; 

Yea, Carnage is thy daughter ! " 

Wordsworth's Thanksgiving Ode. 

* To wit, the Deity's : this is perhaps as pretty a pedigree for murder 
as ever was found out by Garter King at Arms. — What would have been 
said, had any free-spoken people discovered such a lineage ? 


DON JUAN. 217 


The Prince de Ligne was wounded in the knee ; 

Count Chapeau-Bras, too, had a ball between 
His cap and head,(i) which proves the head to be 

Aristocratic as was ever seen, 
Because it then received no injury 

More than the cap ; in fact, the ball could mean 
No harm unto a right legitimate head : 
" Ashes to ashes" — why not lead to lead? 


Also the General Markow, Brigadier, 

Insisting on removal of the prince 
Amidst some groaning thousands dying near, — 

All common fellows, who might writhe and wince, 
And shriek for water into a deaf ear, — 

The General Markow, who could thus evince 
His sympathy for rank, by the same token, 
To teach him greater, had his own leg broken. (2) 


Three hundred cannon threw up their emetic, 
And thirty thousand muskets flung their pills 

Like hail, to make a bloody diuretic. (2) 
Mortality ! thou hast thy monthly bills ; 

(1) [** Le Prince de Ligne fut blets^ au genou ; le Due de Richelieu eut 
nne balle entre \c fond de son bonnet et sa t6te." — Hist, de la NouveUe 
Ru$tif, t iii p. 210.] 

(2) r" Le brigadier Markow, imirtant pour qu'on emportat le prince 
bleM^ re^ut un coup de fu»il qui lui ixac&n&a. le pied." — Ibid. p. 210.] 

(3) [" Troii cents bouches k feu vomissaient sans interruption, et trente 
milic fusils alimentaient sans rclAche une grele dc balles." — Ibid. p. SIO.] 



Thy plagues, thy famines, thy physicians, yet tick, 

Like the death-watch, within our ears the ills 
Past, present, and to come ; — but all may yield 
To the true portrait of one battle-field. 


There the still varying pangs, which multiply 
Until their very number makes men hard 

By the infinities of agony, 

Which meet the gaze, whate'er it may regard— 

The groan, the roll in dust, the all-white eye 
Turn'd back within its socket, — these reward 

Your rank and file by thousands, while the rest 

May win perhaps a riband at the breast ! 


Yet I love glory; — glory's a great thing: — 
Think what it is to be in your old age 

Maintain'd at the expense of your good king : 
A moderate pension shakes full many a sage. 

And heroes are but made for bards to sing. 
Which is still better ; thus in verse to wage 

Your wars eternally, besides enjoying 

Half-pay for life, make mankind worth destroying. 


The troops, already disembark'd, push'd on 
To take a battery on the right ; the others. 

Who landed lower down, their landing done. 
Had set to work as briskly as their brothers : 


DON JUAN. 219 

Being grenadiers, they mounted one by one, 

Cheerful as children climb the breasts of mothers. 
O'er the entrenchment and the palisade,(^) 
Quite orderly, as if upon parade. 


And this was admirable ; for so hot 

The fire was, that were red Vesuvius loaded, 

Besides its lava, with all sorts of shot 

And shells or hells, it could not more have goaded. 

Of officers a third fell on the spot, 

A thing which victory by no means boded 

To gentlemen engaged in the assault : 

Hounds, when the huntsman tumbles, are at fault. 


But here I leave the general concern. 
To track our hero on his path of fame : 

He must his laurels separately earn; 

For fifty thousand heroes, name by name, 

Tliough all deserving equally to turn 
A couplet, or an elegy to claim, 

Would form a lengthy lexicon of glory. 

And what is worse still, a much longer story : 

(1) [" Le» troopea, iejk d«'l)arqu<'cs, se portfercnt & droite pour s'eirparer 
twtterie; et celle* dMMtrquees plus bas, principalcment compos^cs des 
annadien de Fsnagorie, etcaladaicnt Ic retrancbement et la palissade"— 
Hist de la NomvetU Btusie, torn. iii. p. 210.] 

220 DON JUAN. 



And therefore we must give the greater number 
To the Gazette — which doubtless fairly dealt 

By the deceased, who lie in famous slumber 
In ditches, fields, or wheresoe'er they felt 

Their clay for the last time their souls encumber ; — 
Thrice happy he whose name has been well spelt 

In the despatch : I knew a man whose loss 

Was printed Grove, although his name was Grose, (i) 


Juan and Johnson join'd a certain corps, 

And fought away with might and main, notknowing 

The way which they had never trod before, 

And still less guessing where they might be going ; 

But on they march'd, dead bodies trampling o'er, 
Firing, and thrusting, slashing, sweating, glowing, 

But fighting thoughtlessly enough to win. 

To their two selves, one whole bright bulletin. 


Thus on they wallow'd in the bloody mire 

Of dead and dying thousands, — sometimes gaining 

A yard or two of ground, which brought them nigher 
To some odd angle for which all were straining ; 

At other times, repulsed by the close fire, 

Which really pour'd as if all hell were raining 

Instead of heaven, they stumbled backwards o'er 

A wounded comrade, sprawling in his gore. 

(1) A fact : see the Waterloo Gazettes. I recollect remarking at the 
time to a friend: — " There is fame ! a man is killed, his name is Grose, 
and they print it Grove." I was at college with the deceased, who was a 
rery amiable and clever man, and his society in great request for his wit, 
gaiety, and " Chansons h. boire." 


DON JUAN. 221 


Though *t was Don Juan's first of fields, and though 
The nightly muster and the silent march 

In the chill dark, when courage does not glow 
So much as under a triumphal arch, 

Perhaps might make him shiver, yawn, or throw 
A glance on the dull clouds (as thick as starch. 

Which stiffen'd heaven) as if he wish'd for day ; — 

Yet for all this he did not run away. 


Indeed he could not. But what if he had ? 

There have been and are heroes who begun 
With something not much better, or as bad : 

Frederic the Great from Molwitz deign'd to run, 
For the first and last time ; for, like a pad, 

Or hawk, or bride, most mortals after one 
Warm bout are broken into their new tricks. 
And fight like fiends for pay or politics. 

He was what Erin calls, in her sublime 

Old Erse or Irish, or it may be Punic ; — 
(The antiquarians (') who can settle time, 

Which settles all things, Roman, Greek, or Runic, 
Swear that Pat's language sprung from the same clime 

With Hannibal, and wears the Tyrian tunic 
Of Dido's alphabet ; and this is rational 
As any other notion, and not national) ; — 

(1) See General Valancey and Sir Lawrence Parsons 

222 DON JUAN. 



But Juan was quite " a broth of a boy," 
A thing of impulse and a child of song ; 

Now swimming in the sentiment of joy, 

Or the sensation (if that phrase seem wrong), 

And afterward, if he must needs destroy, 
In such good company as always throng 

To battles, sieges, and that kind of pleasure, 

No less delighted to employ his leisure ; 


But always without malice : if he warr'd 

Or loved, it was with what we call " the best 

Intentions," which form all mankind's trump card, 
To be produced when brought up to the test. 

The statesman, hero, harlot, lawyer — ward 

Off each attack, when people are in quest fl 

Of their designs, by saying they meant well ; 

'Tis pity " that such meaning should pave hell." Q) 


I almost lately have begun to doubt 

Whether hell's pavement — if it be ^o paved — 

Must not have latterly been quite worn out, 
Not by the numbers good intent hath saved, 

But by the mass who go below without 

Those ancient good intentions, which once shaved 

And smooth'd the brimstone of that street of hell 

Which bears the greatest likeness to Pall Mall. 

Cl) The Portuguese proverb says that " hell is paved with good inten- 

CANTO vm. 

DON JUAN. 223 

Juan, by some strange chance, which oft divides 

Warrior from warrior in their grim career, 
Like chastest wives from constant husbands' sides 

Just at the close of the first bridal year, 
By one of those odd turns of Fortune's tides, 

Was on a sudden rather puzzled here, 
When, after a good deal of heavy firing. 
He found himself alone, and friends retiring. 


I don't know how the thing occurr'd — it might 
Be that the greater part were kill'd or wounded. 

And that the rest had faced unto the right 
About ; a circumstance which has confounded 

Caesar himself, who in the very sight 

Of his whole army, which so much abounded 

In courage, was obliged to snatch a shield, 

And rally back his Romans to the field. (') 


Juan, who had no shield to snatch, and was 
No Caesar, but a fine young lad, who fought 

He knew not why, arriving at this pass, 
Stopp'd for a minute, as perhaps he ought 

(1) C" The Nenrll marched to the number of sixty thousand, and fell 
upon Ca»ar, as he was fortifying his camp, and had not the least notion of 
so sudden an attack. They first routed his cavalry, and then surrounded 
the twelfUj and the seventh legions, and killed all the officers. Had not 
Cssar snatched a buckler from one of his own men, forced his way 
through the combatants before him, and rushed upon the barbarians ; or 
had not the tenth legion, seeing his danger, ran from the heights wher« 
they were posted, and mowed down the enemy's ranks, not one Roman 
would have survived the battle." — Plutabcu. J 

224? DON JUAN. CANTO via. 

For a much longer time ; then, Hke an ass — 

(Start not, kind reader, since great Homer thought 
This simile enough for Ajax, Juan 
Perhaps may find it better than a new one) ; — 


Then, like an ass, he went upon his way, 

And, what was stranger, never look'd behind ; 

But seeing, flashing forward, like the day 
Over the hills, a fire enough to blind 

Those who dislike to look upon a fray. 
He stumbled on, to try if he could find 

A path, to add his own slight arm and forces 

To corps, the greater part of which were corses. 

Perceiving then no more the commandant 

Of his own corps, nor even the corps, which had 

Quite disappear'd — the gods know how ! (I can't 
Account for every thing which may look bad 

In history ; but we at least may grant 
It was not marvellous that a mere lad, 

In search of glory, should look on before. 

Nor care a pinch of snuff about his corps :) — 


Perceiving nor commander nor commanded, 
And left at large, like a young heir, to make 

His way to — where he knew not — single handed; 
As travellers follow over bog and brake 

vSTOViii. DON JUAN. 225 

An " ignis fatiius;" or as sailors stranded 

Unto the nearest hut themselves betake ; 
So Juan, following honour and his nose, 
Rush'd where the thickest fire announced most 


He knew not where he was, nor greatly cared, 
For he was dizzy, busy, and his veins 

Fiird as with lightning — for his spirit shared 
The hour, as is the case with lively brains ; 

And where the hottest fire was seen and heard, 
And the loud cannon peal'd his hoarsest strains, 

He rush'd, while earth and air were sadly shaken 

By thy humane discovery. Friar Bacon ! (^) 


And as he rush'd along, it came to pass he 
Fell in with what was late the second column, 

Under the orders of the General Lascy, 
But now reduced, as is a bulky volume 

Into an elegant extract (much less massy) 
Of heroism, and took his place with solemn 

Air 'midst the rest, who kept their valiant faces 

And levell'd weapons still against the glacis. 

(1) [** N'appcrcevant plus le commandant du corps dont je faisais partie, 
«^ ignorant oil je derail porter mes pis, je crus reconnoitre le lieu oil le 

mpart ^tait »itu^ ; on y faisait un feu assez vif, que je jugeai etre celui 
• ..I general-major de Latcy." —Hist, de la N. R. p. 210.] 

(2) Gunpowder Is said to have been discovered by this friar. [N. B. 
ThmiRh 1-riar Bacon seems to have discovered gunjKJwdcr, he had the 

'1/ not to record bis discorery In intelligible language. — E.] 

I-. XVI. Q 

226 DON JUAN. 

CANTO vm. 


Just at this crisis up came Johnson too, 

Who had " retreated," as the phrase is when 

Men run away much rather than go through 
Destruction's jaws into the devil's den ; 

But Johnson was a clever fellow, who 

Knew when and how " to cut and come again, 

And never ran away, except when running 

Was nothing but a valorous kind of cunning. 


And so, when all his corps were dead or dying, 
Except Don Juan, a mere novice, whose 

More virgin valour never dreamt of flying. 
From ignorance of danger, which indues 

Its votaries, like innocence relying [thews, — 

On its own strength, with careless nerves and 

Johnson retired a little, just to rally 

Those who catch cold in " shadows of Death's valley. " 


And there, a little shelter'd from the shot. 
Which rain'd from bastion, battery, parapet. 

Rampart, wall, casement, house — for there was not 
In this extensive city, sore beset 

By Christian soldiery, a single spot 

Which did not combat like the devil, as yet, — 

He found a number of Chasseurs, all scatter'd 

By the resistance of the chase they batter'd. 


DON JUAN. 227 


And these he call'd on; and, what's strange, they came 
Unto his call, unlike " the spirits from 

The vasty deep," to whom you may exclaim, 

Says Hotspur, long ere they will leave their 

Their reasons were uncertainty, or shame [home.(^) 
At shrinking from a bullet or a bomb. 

And that odd impulse, which in wars or creeds 

Makes men, like cattle, follow him who leads. 


By Jove ! he was a noble fellow, Johnson, 
And though his name, than Ajax or Achilles, 

Sounds less harmonious, underneath the sun soon 
VV^e shall not see his likeness : he could kill his 

Man quite as quietly as blows the monsoon 

Her steady breath (which some months the same 
still is) : 

Seldom he varied feature, hue, or muscle, 

And could be very busy without bustle ; 


And therefore, when he ran away, he did so 
Upon reflection, knowing that behind 

He would find others who would fain be rid so 
Of idle apprehensions, which like wind 

Trouble heroic stomachs. Though their lids so 
Oft are soon closed, all heroes are not blind, 

But when they light upon immediate death, 

Retire a little, merely to take breath. 

, IGlatdmoer. ** I can call tpiriu from the vaaty deep. 
Hotspur. Why w can I, or (o can any man : 

But will they come when you do call for them ? "— 

Henry IFJ 

Q 2 

228 DON JUAN. 



But Johnson only ran off, to return 
With many other warriors, as we said, 

Unto that rather somewhat misty bourn. 

Which Hamlet tells us is a pass of dread, (i) 

To Jack howe'er this gave but slight concern : 
His soul (like galvanism upon the dead) 

Acted upon the living as on wire, 

And led them back into the heaviest fire. 


Egad! they found the second time what they 
The first time thought quite terrible enough 

To fly from, malgre all which people say 
Of glory, and all that immortal stuff 

Which fills a regiment (besides their pay, 

That daily shilling which makes warriors tough) — 

They found on their return the self-same welcome, 

Which made some thiiik, and others know^ a hell come. 


They fell as thick as harvests beneath hail, 
Grass before scythes, or corn below the sickle, 

Proving that trite old truth, that life's as frail 
As any other boon for which men stickle. 

The Turkish batteries thrash'd them like a flail 
Or a good boxer, into a sad pickle 

Putting the very bravest, who were knock 'd 

Upon the head, before their guns were cock'd. 

[ " the dread of something after death,— 

The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn 
No traveller returns." — i/awfe/J 



The Turks behind the traverses and flanks 
Of the next bastion, fired away like devils, 

And swept, as gales sweep foam away, whole ranks : 
However, Heaven knows how, the Fate who levels 

Towns, nations, worlds, in her revolving pranks, 
So order'd it, amidst these sulphur}^ revels. 

That Johnson and some few who had not scamper'd, 

Reached the mterior talus(i) of the rampart. (-) 


First one or two, then five, six, and a dozen 
Came mounting quickly up, for it was now 

All neck or nothing, as, like pitch or rosin. 

Flame was shower'd forth above, as well's below, 

So that you scarce could say who best had chosen, 
The gentlemen that were the first to show 

Their martial faces on the parapet. 

Or those who thought it brave to wait as yet. 


But those who scaled, found out that their advance 
Was favour'd by an accident or blunder : 

The Greek or Turkish Cohorn's ignorance 
Had pallisado'd in a way you'd wonder 

(1) [" Talut, — the ilope or inclination of a wall, whereby, reclining at 
the top M) as to fall within its base, the thickness is gradually lessened 
according to the height." — Milit. Diet.'] 

(2) [" Appellant ceux de« chasseurs qui etaient autour de moi en assez 
grand nombre, je m'avan^ai et reconnus ne m'etre point trompi; dans mon 
calcul ; c'^tatt en effbt cette colonne qui k I'instant parvenait au sommet 
du rempart. Let Turcs de derri^re les travers ct les flancs des bastions 
voUins faiMient sur ellc un feu tr^vif de canon ct de mousqueterie. Je 
gravis, avec les gens qui m'avaicnt suivi, le talus int^rieur du rempart." — 
/fist, de la S. R. p. 211.] 

Q 3 

230 DON JUAN. 


To see in forts of Netherlands or France — 

(Though these to our Gibraltar mustknock under) — 
Right in the middle of the parapet 
Just named, these palisades were primly set:(i) 


So that on either side some nine or ten 

Paces were left, whereon you could contrive 

To march ; a great convenience to our men. 
At least to all those who were left alive, 

Who thus could form a line and fight again ; 
And that which farther aided them to strive 

Was, that they could kick down the palisades. 

Which scarcely rose much higher than grass blades. 


Among the first, — I will not say the Jirst, 
For such precedence upon such occasions 

Will oftentimes make deadly quarrels burst 
Out between friends as well as allied nations : 

The Briton must be bold who really durst 
Put to such trial John Bull's partial patience. 

As say that Wellington at Waterloo 

Was beaten, — though the Prussians say so too; — 

(1) [" Ce fut dans cet instant que je reconnus combien I'ignorance du 
constructeur des palissades dtait importante pour nous ; car, comme ellea 
^taient places au milieu du parapet," &c. — Hist, de la N. R. p. 211.] 

(2) [" II y avait de chaque cAt6 neuf a dix pieds sur lesquels on pouvait 
marcher ; etles soldats, aprfes etre montts, avaient pu se ranger commode- 
ment sur I'espace extferieur, qui ne s'eleva que d'si-peu-prfes deux pieds 
au-dessus du niveau de la texxQ." — Ibid. p. 211.] 


DON JUAN. 231 


And that if Blucher, Bulovv, Gneisenau, 

And God knows who besides in " au" and " ou," 

Had not come up in time to cast an awe Q) 
Into the hearts of those who fought till now 

As tigers combat with an empty craw, 

The Duke of Wellington had ceased to show 

His orders, also to receive his pensions, 

Which are the heaviest that our history mentions. 


But never mind; — " God save the king I" and kings! 

For if /le don't, I doubt if men will longer — 
I think I hear a little bird, who sings 

The people by and by will be the stronger : 
The veriest jade will wince whose harness wrings 

So much into the raw as quite to wrong her 
Beyond the rules of posting, — and the mob 
At last fall sick of imitating Job. 


At first it grumbles, then it swears, and then, 
Like David, flings smooth pebbles 'gainst a giant ; 

At last it takes to weapons such as men 

Snatch when despair makes human hearts less 

(1) [It hu been a favourite assertion with almost all the French, and 
some English writers, that the English were on the point of being de- 
feated, when the Prussian force came up. The contrary is the truth. 
Baron Muffling has given the most explicit testimony, " that the battle 
could have afforded no favourable result to the enemy, even if the Prus. 
•ians had never come up." The laurels of Waterloo must be divided — 
the British won the battle, the Prussians achieved and rendered available 
the victory. — Sir Walter Scott.] 

Q 4 

CANTO Vlll. 

232 DON JUAN. 

Then comes " the tug of war ;" — 'twill come again, 
I rather doubt; and I would fain say " fie on't," 
If I had not perceived that revolution 
Alone can save the earth from hell's pollution. 


But to continue: — I say not the first, 

But of the first, our little friend Don Juan 

Walk'd o'er the walls of Ismail, as if nursed 
Amidst such scenes — though this was quite 
new one 

To him, and I should hope to most. The thirst 
Of glory, which so pierces through and through one, 

Pervaded him — although a generous creature, 

As warm in heart as feminine in feature. 


And here he was — who upon woman's breast, 
Even from a child, felt like a child ; howe'er 

The man in all the rest might be confest, 
To him it was Elysium to be there ; 

And he could even withstand that awkward test 
Which Rousseau points out to the dubious fair, 

" Observe your lover when he leaves your arms ;" 

But Juan never left them, while they had charms, 


Unless compell'd by fate, or wave, or wind. 
Or near relations, who are much the same. 

But here he was ! — where each tie that can bind 
Humanity must yield to steel and flame : 

TO vni. DON JUAN. 233 

And he whose very body was all mind, 

Flung here by fate or circumstance, which tame 
The loftiest, hurried by the time and place, 
Dash'd on like a spurr'd blood-horse in a race. 


So was his blood stirr'd while he found resistance, 
As is the hunter's at the five-bar gate. 

Or double post and rail, where the existence 
Of Britain's youth depends upon their weight, 

The lightest being the safest : at a distance 
He hated cruelty, as all men hate 

Blood, until heated — and even then his own 

At times would curdle o'er some heavy groan. 


The General Lascy, who had been hard press'd. 

Seeing arrive an aid so opportune 
As were some hundred youngsters all abreast, 

Who came as if just dropp'd down from the moon, 
To Juan, who was nearest him, address'd 

His thanks, and hopes to take the city soon. 
Not reckoning him to be a " base Bezonian,"(i) 
C As Pistol calls it) but a young Livonian.(-) 

(1) [ FutoU* •• Bnonian " u a corruption of bisognoso — a, needy man 
—metaphorically (at least) a icoundrcl.] 

(2) " La g^n^ral Lascy, voyant arriver un corps, si &.propos k son secour, 
•'avan^a vers I'ofllcier qui I'avait conduit, et, le prenant pour un Livonien, 
lui fit, en AUemand, les cotnpliniens Ics plus flattcurs; Ic jeune mili. 
Uire (le due dc Richelieu) qui parlait parfaitement cette langue, y rfepondit 
avec M modestie ordinaire." — Hist, de la N. R. p. 211.] 

234 DON JUAN. 



Juan, to whom he spoke in German, knew 
As much of German as of Sanscrit, and 

In answer made an inchnation to 

The general who held him in command ; 

For seeing one with ribands, black and blue. 
Stars, medals, and a bloody sword in hand, 

Addressing him in tones which seem'd to thank, 

He recognised an officer of rank. 


Short speeches pass between two men who speak 
No common language ; and besides, in time 

Of war and taking towns, when many a shriek 
Rings o'er the dialogue, and many a crime 

Is perpetrated ere a word can break 

Upon the ear, and sounds of horror chime 

In like church-bells, with sigh, howl, groan, yell, prayer, 

There cannot be much conversation there. 


And therefore all we have related in' 

Two long octaves, pass'd in a little minute ; ' 

But in the same small minute, every sin 
Contrived to get itself comprised within it. 

The very cannon, deafened by the din, 

Grew dumb, for you might almost hear a linnet, 

As soon as thunder, 'midst the general noise 

Of human nature's agonising voice I 

CANTO Vlll. 

DON JUAN. 235 


The town was enter'd. Oh eternity ! — 

" God made the country, and man made the town," 

So Cowper says — and I begin to be 
Of his opinion, when I see cast down 

Rome, Babylon, Tyre, Carthage, Nineveh, 
All walls men know, and many never known ; 

And pondering on the present and the past. 

To deem the woods shall be our home at last : — 


Of all men, saving Sylla(') the man-slayer, 
WTio passes for in life and death most lucky, 

Of the great names which in our faces stare. 

The General Boon, back-woodsman of Kentucky, 

Was happiest amongst mortals any where ; 
For killing nothing but a bear or buck, he 

Enjoy'd the lonely, vigorous, harmless days 

Of his old age in wilds of deepest maze. (2) 


Crime came not near him — she is not the child 
Of solitude; Health shrank not from him — for 

Her home is in the rarely trodden wild. 

Where if men seek her not, and death be more 

n ZSeeatUi, Vol X. p. 9.] 

,M [" The wildest solitudes are to the taste" of some people. Gene- 
Boon, who was chiefly instrumental in the first settlement of Ken- 
tucliy, is of this turn. It is said, that he is now (1818), at the age of 
seventy, pursuing the daily chase two hundre<l miles to the westward of 
the last abode of civilised man. He had retired to a chosen siK)t, beyond 
the Missouri, which, aAer him, is named Boon's Lick, out of the 
reach, as he flattered himself, of intrusion ; but white men, even there, 
eixnroached upon him, and, two years ago, he went back two hundred miles 
Uxtber." ■— Birkb<ck'M Notes on America.} 

236 DON JUAN. 


Their choice than life, forgive them, as beguiled 

By habit to what their own hearts abhor — 
In cities caged. The present case in point I 
Cite is, that Boon lived hunting up to ninety ; 


And what's still stranger, left behind a name 
For which men vainly decimate the throng. 

Not only famous, but of that good fame, 
Without which glory's but a tavern song — 

Simple, serene, the antipodes of shame, 

Which hate nor envy e'er could tinge with wrong; 

An active hermit, even in age the child 

Of Nature, or the man of Ross run wild. 


'Tis true he shrank from men even of his nation. 
When they built up unto his darling trees, — 

He moved some hundred miles off, for a station 
Where there were fewer houses and more ease ;(i) 

The inconvenience of civilisation 

Is, that you neither can be pleased nor please ; 

But where he met the individual man, 

He show'd himself as kind as mortal can. 

(1) [" Such is the restless disposition of these back- woodsmen, and so 
averse are their habits from those of a civilised neighbourhood, that 
nothing short of the salt, sandy desert can stop them. The notorious 
Daniel Boon, who about fifty different times has shifted his abode west- 
ward, as civilisation approached his dwelling, when asked the cause of his 
frequent change, replied, * I think it time to remove, when I can no longer 
fell a tree for fuel, so that its top will lie within a few yards of my cabin.' " 
— Quart. Rev. vol xxix. p. 14.] 

CANTO vin. DON JUAN. 237 


He was not all alone : around him grew 
A sylvan tribe of children of the chase, 

\V'hose young, unwaken'd world was ever new, 
Nor sword nor sorrow yet had left a trace 

On her unwrinkled brow, nor could you view 
A frown on Nature's or on human face ; — 

The free-born forest found and kept them free, 

And fresh as is a torrent or a tree. 


And tall, and strong, and swift of foot were they, 
Beyond the dwarfing city's pale abortions, 

Because their thoughts had never been the prey 
Ofcare or gain: the green woods were their portions ; 

No sinking spirits told them they grew grey. 
No fashion made them apes of her distortions ; 

Simple they were, not savage ; and their rifles, 

Though very true, were not yet used for trifles. 


ATotion was in their days, rest in their slumbers, 

And cheerfulness the handmaid of their toil ; 

>r yet too many nor too few their numbers ; 

Corruption could not make their hearts her soil ; 
The 1 ust wh ich stings, the splendour which encumbers, 

With the free foresters divide no spoil ; 

rene, not sullen, were the solitudes 
Of this unsighing people of the woods. 



So much for Nature : — by way of variety, 
Now back to thy great joys, CiviUsation ! 

And the sweet consequence of large society, 
War, pestilence, the despot's desolation. 

The kingly scourge, the lust of notoriety, 

The millions slain by soldiers for their ration, 

The scenes like Catherine's boudoir at threescore. 

With Ismail's storm to soften it the more. 


The town was enter'd : first one column made 
Its sanguinary way good — then another; 

The reeking bayonet and the flashing blade 

Clash'd 'gainst the scimitar, and babe and mother 

With distant shrieks were heard Heaven to upbraid : — 
Still closer sulphury clouds began to smother 

The breath of morn and man, where foot by foot 

The madden'd Turks their city still dispute. 


Koutousow, he who afterward beat back 

(With some assistance from the frost and snow) 

Napoleon on his bold and bloody track. 

It happen'd was himself beat back just now : 

He was a jolly fellow, and could crack 
His jest alike in face of friend or foe, 

Though life, and death, and victory were at stake;(i) 

But here it seem'd his jokes had ceased to take : 

(1) [" Parmi les colonnes, une de celles qui souffrirent le plus fetait 
comraand^e par le General Koutouzow (aujourd'hui Prince de Smolensko}. 

CANTO vjii. DON JUAN. 239 


For having thrown himself into a ditch, 
Follow'd in haste by various grenadiers, 

Whose blood the puddle greatly did enrich, 
He climb'd to where the parapet appears ; 

But there his project reach'd its utmost pitch 
('Mongst other deaths the General Jlibaupierre's 

Was much regretted), for the Moslem men 

Threw them all down into the ditch again. (*) 


And had it not been for some stray troops landing 
They knew not where, being carried by the 

To some spot, where they lost their understanding. 
And wander'd up and down as in a dream, 

Until they reach'd, as daybreak was expanding. 
That which a portal to their eyes did seem, — 

The great and gay Koutousow might have lain 

Where three parts of his column yet remain. (-) 

Ce brave militaire reunit I'intrepidite k un grand nombre de con- 
naiuances acquises ; il marche au feu avec la meme gaiete qu'il va k une 
(etc ; il sajt commander avec autant de sang froid qu'il dt-ploie d'esprit et 
d'amabiiite dans le coimnerce habituel de la vie." — Hist, de la Nouveile 
"• "fV, lorn. iii. p. 212.] 

. [" Ce brave Koutouzow se jcta dans le foss^, fut suivi des siens, et 
oe peiietra jutqu'au haut du parapet qu'apr^ avoir ^-prouve des difB. 
oultea incro;able«. (Le brigadier Ribaupierre perdit la vie dans cette 
occasion : il avait fixe Pestime gent-rale, et sa mort occasionna beaucoup 
de regrets.) Le» Turcs accoururent en grand nombre; cette multitude 
rt[iouss« deux fois le g£n£ral jusqu'au (oitf—Ibid. p. 212.] 

[" Quelques troupes Russes, emport^ par le courant, n'ayant pu 
:rquer sur le terrcin qu'on leur avait pr(58crit, &c.*'— Ibid. p. 213.] 



And scrambling round the rampart, these same troops 

After the taking of the " CavaHer,"(^) 
Just as Koutousow's most " forlorn" of " hopes" 

Took, like chameleons, some slight tinge of fear, 
Open'd the gate call'd " Kilia," to the groups (2) 

Of baffled heroes, who stood shyly near. 
Sliding knee-deep in lately frozen mud, 
Now thaw'd into a marsh of human blood. 


The Kozacks, or, if so you please, Cossacques — 
(I don't much pique myself upon orthography. 

So that I do not grossly err in facts, 

Statistics, tactics, politics, and geograph}') — 

Having been used to serve on horses' backs, 
And no great dilettanti in topography 

Of fortresses, but fighting where it pleases 

Their chiefs to order, — were all cut to pieces, p) 


Their column, though the Turkish batteries thunder'd 
Upon them, ne'ertheless had reach'd the rampart, (^) 

And naturally thought they could have plunder'd 
The city, without being farther hamper'd ; 

(1) [A " Cavalier" is an elevation of earth, situated ordinarily in the 
gorge of a bastion, bordered with a parapet, and cut into more or fewer 
embrasures, according to its capacity." — Milit. Did.'] 

(2) [_..." longferent le rempart, aprfes la prise du cavalier, et ouvrirent 
la porre dite de Kilia aux soldats du General Koutouzow." — Hist, de la 
N. R. p. 213.] 

(3) [" II 6tait rfeservfe aux Kozaks de combler de leur corps la partie du 
fbss^ oCi ils combattaient ; leur colonne avait et€ divis(5e cntre MM. Pla- 
tow et d'Orlow . . ." — Ibid. p. 213.] 

(4) [. . . " La premiere partie, devant se joindre k la gauche du G^n^ral 
Arsenieu, fut foudroyt5e par le feu des batteries, et parviirt ndanmoins au 
baut du rempart" — /i?rf. p. 213.] 


DON JUAN. 24:1 

But as it happens to brave men, they blunder'd — 

The Turks at first pretended to have scamper'd, 
Only to draw them 'twixt two bastion corners, (i) 
From whence they sallied on those Christian scornecs. 


Then being taken by the tail — a taking 
Fatal to bishops as to soldiers — these 

Cossacques were all cut off as day was breaking, 
And found their lives were let at a short lease — 

But perish'd without shivering or shaking, 
Leaving as ladders their heap'd carcasses. 

O'er which Lieutenant-Colonel Yesouskoi 

March'd with the brave battahon of Polouzki: — (-) 


This valiant man kill'd all the Turks he met, 
But could not eat them, being in his turn 

Slain by some Mussulmans, (^) who would not yet, 
Without resistance, see their city burn. 

The walls were won, but 'twas an even bet 

Which of the armies would have cause to mourn : 

'Twas blow for blow, disputing inch by inch, 

For one would not retreat, nor t' other flinch. 

(1) [" Le« Turc« la laiu^rent un peu s'avancer dans la ville, et firent 
deux K>rtie« par les angles saillans des battiona." — HisL de laNouvelle 
Jtuitie, torn. ii. p. 213.] 

1) [" A ion, le trouvant prise en queue, elle fut icrzsie ; cependant le 
ijtenant^»tonel Yesouskoi, qui commandait la rtjserve compos^-e d'uii 

oataillon du regiment de Polozk, traversa le fosse* sur les cadavrcs des 

Koiaks. . . " — Ibid. p. 2ia] 

(3) [ . . . " et cxtennina tous les Turcs qu'il *eut en tete : ce brave 
koDune fut tu<^- pendant Taction." — Ibid. p. 213.] 



Another column also sufFer'd much : — 

And here we may remark with the historian, 

You should but give few cartridges to such 

Troops as are meant to march with greatest glory on : 

When matters must be carried by the touch 

Of the bright bayonet, and they all should hurry on. 

They sometimes, with a hankering for existence, 

Keep merely firing at a foohsh distance, (i) 


A junction of the General Meknop's men 

(Without the General, who had fallen some time 

Before, being badly seconded just then) 

Was made at length with those who dared to climb 

The death-disgorging rampart once again ; 

And though the Turk's resistance was sublime, 

They took the bastion, which the Seraskier 

Defended at a price extremely dear. (2) 

(1) " L'autre partie des Kozaks, qu'Orlow commandait, souffrit de la 
manifere la plus cruelle : elle attaqua k maintes reprises, fut souvent 
repouss^e, et perdit les deux tiCTS de son monde. Et c'est ici le lieu de 
placer une observation, que nous prenons dans les memoires qui nous 
guident ; elle fait remarquer combien il est mal tu de donner beaucoup de 
cartouches aux soldats qui doivent emporter un poste de vive force, et par 
consequent oh la baionnette doit principal em en t agir; ils pensent ne 
devoir se servir de cette dernifere arme, que lorsque les cartouches sent 
epuis^es : dans cette persuasion, ils retardent leur marche, et restent plus 
long-temps exposes au canon et k la mitraille de I'ennemi." — Hist, de la 
N. R. p. 214.] 

(2) [" La jonction de la colonne de Meknop — (le g^ntral etant mal 
second^ fut tu^)— s'etant effectuee avec celle qui I'avoisinait, ces colonnes 
attaquferent un bastion, et (5prouvferent un resistance opiniatre; mai« 
bientot des cris de victoire se font entendre de toutes parts, et le bastion 
est emporte : le seraskier d^fendait cette partie." — Ibid. p. 214.3 


CAjrro viii. 

DON JUAN. 24-3 


Juan and Johnson, and some volunteers 

Among the foremost, ofFer'd him good quarter, 

A word which Httle suits with Seraskiers, 
Or at least suited not this valiant Tartar. 

He died, deserving well his country's tears, 
A savage sort of military martyr. 

An English naval officer, who wish'd 

To make him prisoner, was also dish'd : 


For all the answer to his proposition 

Was from a pistol-shot that laid him dead;(') 

On which the rest, without more intermission, 
Began to lay about with steel and lead — 

The pious metals most in requisition 
On such occasions : not a single head 

Was spared ; — three thousand Moslems perish'd here, 

And sixteen bayonets pierced the Seraskier. (2) 


The city's taken — only part by part — 

And Death is drunk with gore : there 's not a street 

Where fights not to the last some desperate heart 
For those for whom it soon shall cease to beat. (3) 

' (!)[•••" "" oflBcier de marine Anglais, Teut le[faire prisonnier, et 
xef oit un coup de pistolet qui I'^tend roide mort." — Hist, de la N.R. p. 214.3 

(2) [" Le* Rusaes passent troia mille Turcs au fil de I'epce; seize baion- 
nette* percent k U {(A% le tetziWet." —. Ibid. p. 214.] 

(3) [" La villc est emportde ; I'image de la mort et de la destruction se 
represente de tous les cfAki ; le soldat furicux n'ecoutc plus la voix de se« 
officiers, il ne respire que le carnage ; alter<2 de sang, tout est indifilrent 
pourluL— /Wrf. p. 214.]" 

R 2 


Here War forgot his own destructive art 

In more destroying Nature ; and the heat 
Of carnage, like the Nile's sun-sodden slime, 
Engender'd monstrous shapes of every crime. 


A Russian officer, in martial tread 

Over a heap of bodies, felt his heel 
Seized fast, as if 'twere by the serpent's head 

Whose fangs Eve taught her human seed to feel : 
In vain he kick'd, and swore, and writhed, and bled, 

And howl'd for help as wolves do for a meal — 
The teeth still kept their gratifying hold, 
As do the subtle snakes described of old. 


A dying Moslem, who had felt the foot 
Of a foe o'er him, snatch'd at it, and bit 

The very tendon which is most acute — 

(That which some ancient Muse or modern wit 

Named after thee, Achilles) and quite through 't 
He made the teeth meet, nor relinquish'd it 

Even with his life — for (but they lie) 'tis said 

To the live leg still clung the sever'd head. 


However this may be, 'tis pretty sure >m 

The Russian officer for life was lamed. 

For the Turk's teeth stuck faster than a skewer, 
And left him 'midst the invalid and maim'd : 


DON JUAN. 24^ 

The regimental surgeon could not cure 

His patient, and perhaps was to be blamed 
More than the head of the inveterate foe, 
Which was cut off, and scarce even then let go. 


But then the fact 's a fact — and 'tis the part 
Of a true poet to escape from fiction 

Whene'er he can ; for there is little art 
In leaving verse more free from the restriction 

Of truth than prose, unless to suit the mart 
For what is sometimes call'd poetic diction, 

And that outrageous appetite for lies 

Which Satan angles with for souls, like flies. 


The city's taken, but not render'd! — No ! 

There 's not a Moslem that hath yielded sword 
The blood may gush out, as the Danube's flow 

Rolls by the city wall ; but deed nor word 
Acknowledge aught of dread of death or foe : 

In vain the yell of victory is roar'd 
By the advancing Muscovite — the groan 
Of the last foe is echoed by his own. 


Tlie bayonet pierces and the sabre cleaves, 
And human lives are lavish 'd every where, 

As the year closing whirls the scarlet leaves 
When the stripp'd forest bows to the bleak air. 

R 3 

246 DON JUAN. 


And groans ; and thus the peopled city grieves, 
Shorn of its best and loveliest, and left bare ; 
But still it falls with vast and awful splinters, 
As oaks blown down with all their thousand winters. 


It is an awful topic — but 'tis not 

My cue for any time to be terrific : 
For checker'd as is seen our human lot 

With good, and bad, and worse, alike prolific 
Of melancholy merriment, to quote 

Too much of one sort would be soporific ; — 
Without^ or with, offence to friends or foes, 
I sketch your world exactly as it goes. 


And one good action in the midst of crimes 
Is " quite refreshing," in the affected phrase 

Of these ambrosial, Pharisaic times. 

With all their pretty milk-and-water ways. 

And may serve therefore to bedew these rhymes, 
A little scorch'd at present with the blaze 

Of conquest and its consequences, which 

Make epic poesy so rare and rich. 

Upon a taken bastion, where there lay 

Thousands of slaughtered men, a yet warm group 
Of murder'd women, who had found their way 

To this vain refuge, made the good heart droop 

CANTO viir. 

DON JUAN. 24?7 

And slmdder; — while, as beautiful as May, 
A female child of ten years tried to stoop 
And hide her little palpitating breast 
Amidst the bodies luU'd in bloody rest.(i) 


Two villanous Cossacques pursued the child [them, 
With flashing eyes and weapons : match'd with 

The rudest brute that roams Siberia's wild. 
Has feelings pure and polish'd as a gem, — 

The bear is civilised, the wolf is mild ; 

And whom for this at last must we condemn? 

Their natures ? or their sovereigns, who employ 

All arts to teach their subjects to destroy ? 


Their sabres glitter'd o'er her little head. 

Whence her fair hair rose twining with affright. 

Her hidden face was plunged amidst the dead : 
When Juan caught a glimpse of this sad sight, 

I shall not say exactly what he said, 

Because it might not solace " ears polite ;"(^) 

But what he didy was to lay on their backs, 

The readiest way of reasoning with Cossacques. 

(1) {_" ^^ uuvai la vie k une fille de dix ans, dont Tinnocence et la 
candeur fonnaient un contraste bien frappant avec la rage de tout ce qui 
xn'environnait En arrivant «ur le bastion oil le combat cessa et oil com- 
xnen^a le carnage, j'appcrgu* un groupe de quatre femmes ^gorg^cs, entre 
le«qucllci cet enfant, d'une figure charmante, cherchait un asile contre la 
ftireur de deux Kozalu qui ^taient »ur le point de la mas«acrer."— Due de 
RjcHELiEU. See Ilitt. dc la Souv. Ruts. torn. iii. p. 217-] 

(2) [" But nerer mention hell to eari polite." — Pope.] 

R 4 


248 DON JUAN. 

CANTO viir. 


One's hip he slash'd, and split the other's shoulder. 
And drove them with their brutal yells to seek 

If there might be chirurgeons who could solder 
The wounds they richly merited, (i) and shriek 

Tlieir baffled rage and pain ; while waxing colder 
As he turn'd o'er each pale and gory cheek, 

Don Juan raised his little captive from 

The heap a moment more had made her tomb. 


And she was chill as they, and on her face 

A slender streak of blood announced how near 

Her fate had been to that of all her race ; 

For the same blow which laid her mother here 

Had scarr'd her brow, and left its crimson trace 
As the last link which all she had held dear ; (2) 

But else unhurt, she open'd her large eyes, 

And gazed on Juan with a wild surprise. 

Just at this instant, while their eyes were fix'd 

Upon each other, with dilated glance, 
In Juan's look, pain, pleasure, hope, fear, mix'd 

With joy to save, and dread of some mischance 

(1) ["'Ce spectacle m'attira bient6t, et je n'hfesitai pas, comme on pcut 
le croire, a prendre entre mes bras cette infortun^e, que les barbares vou- 
laient y poursuivre encore. J'eus bien de la peine k me retenir et k ne 
pas percer ces miserables du sabre que je tenais suspendu sur leur tete : — 
je me contentai cependant dc les (Eloigner, non sans leur prodiguer les 
coups et les injures qu'ils m^ritaient . . . " — Richelieu.] 

(2) [".... J'eus le plaisir d'appergevoir que ma petite prisonnifere 
n'avait d'autre mal qu'une coupure K'gfere que lui avait faite au visage 
le meme fer qui avait perct- sa mfere." — Jbid.j 


DON JUAN. 24-9 

Unto his protegee ; while hers, transfix'd 

With infant terrors, glared as from a trance, 
A pure, transparent, pale, yet radiant face, 
Like to a lighted alabaster vase ; — 


Up came John Johnson (I will not say " Jack,'' 
For that were vulgar, cold, and common-place 

On great occasions, such as an attack 

On cities, as hath been the present case) : 

Up Johnson came, with hundreds at his back. 
Exclaiming: — "Juan! Juan! On, boy! brace 

Your arm, and I'll bet Moscow to a dollar 

That you and I will win St. George's collar. Q) 


" The Seraskier is knock'd upon the head, 
But the stone bastion still remains, wherein 

The old Pacha sits among some hundreds dead, 
Smoking his pipe quite calmly 'midst the din 

Of our artillery and his own : 'tis said 
Our kill'd, already piled up to the chin. 

Lie round the battery ; but still it batters, 

And grape in volleys, like a vineyard, scatters. 

" Then up with me I" — But Juan answer'd, " Look 

Upon this child — I saved her — must not leave 
Her life to chance ; but point me out some nook 

Of safety, where she less may shrink and grieve, 

(1) A RuuUn military order. 

250 DON JUAN. 


And I am with you." — Whereon Johnson took 
A glance around — and shrugg'd — andtwitch'dhis 
Andblack silk neckcloth — and replied, "You 're right; 
Poor thing! what's to be done ? I'm puzzled quite." 


Said Juan — " Whatsoever is to be 

Done, I'll not quit her till she seems secure 

Of present life a good deal more than we." — 
Quoth Johnson — " Neither will I quite ensure; 

But at the least you may die gloriously." — 
Juan replied — " At least I will endure 

Whate'er is to be borne — but not resign 

This child, who is parentless, and therefore mine." 


Johnson said — " Juan, we've no time to lose ; 

The child 's a pretty child — a very pretty — 
I never saw such eyes — but hark ! now choose 

Between your fame and feehngs, pride and pity ; — 
Hark ! how the roar increases ! — no excuse 

Will serve when there is plunder in a city ; — 
I should be loath to march without you, but. 
By God! we'll be too late for the first cut." 

But Juan was immoveable ; until 

Johnson, who really loved him in his way, 
Pick'd out amongst his followers with some skill 

Such as he thought the least given up to prey ; 


DON JUAN. 251 

And swearing if the infant came to ill 

That they should all be shot on the next day ; 
But if she were deliver'd safe and sound, 
They should at least have fifty rubles round, 

And all allowances besides of plunder 

In fair proportion with their comrades ; — then 
Juan consented to march on through thunder, 

Which thinn'd at every step their ranks of men : 
And yet the rest rush'd eagerly — no wonder. 

For they were heated by the hope of gain, 
A thing which happens every where each day — 
No hero trusteth wholly to half pay. 


And such is victory, and such is man ! 

At least nine tenths of what we call so; — God 
May have another name for half we scan 

As human beings, or his ways are odd. 
But to our subject : a brave Tartar khan — 

Or " sultan," as the author (to whose nod 
In prose I bend my humble verse) doth call 
This chieftain — somehow would not yield at all : 


But flank*d hy Jive brave sons, (such is polygamy, 
That she spawns warriors by the score, where none 

Are prosecuted for that false crime bigamy). 
He never would believe the city won 

252 DON JUAN. 


While courage clung but to a single twig. — Am I 

Describing Priam's, Peleus', or Jove's son ? 
Neither — but a good, plain, old, temperate man, 
Who fought with his five children in the van.(i) 


To take him was the point. The truly brave, 

When they behold the brave oppress'd with odds, 

Are touch'd with a desire to shield and save ; — 
A mixture of wild beasts and demi-gods 

Are they — now furious as the sweeping wave. 
Now moved with pity : even as sometimes nods 

The rugged tree unto the summer wind. 

Compassion breathes along the savage mind. 


But he would not be tdken^ and replied 

To all the propositions of surrender 
By mowing Christians down on every side. 

As obstinate as Swedish Charles at Bender. (2) 
His five brave boys no less the foe defied ; 

WTiereon the Russian pathos grew less tender, 
As being a virtue, like terrestrial patience, 
Apt to wear out on trifling provocations. 

(1) [" Le sultan p^rit dans Taction en brave homme, digne d'un 
meilleur destin ; ce fut lui qui rallia les Tares lorsque I'ennemi pen^tra 
dans le place : ce sultan, d'une valeur eprouvee, surpassait en generosity 
les plus civilises dc sa nation ; cinq de ses fils combattaient a ses cot^s, 11 
les encourageait par son exemple. " — //«?. de la N. R. torn. iii. p. 215.] 

(2) [" At Bender, after the fatal battle of Pultawa, Charles gave a proof 
of that unreasonable obstinacy, which occasioned all his misfortunes in 
Turkey. When advised to write to the grand vizier, according to the 
custom of the Turks, he said it was beneath his dignity. The same 
obstinacy placed him necessarily at variance with all the ministers of the 
Porte." — Voltaire.] 



And spite of Johnson and of Juan, who 
Expended all their Eastern phraseology 

In begging him, for God's sake, just to show 
So much less fight as might form an apology 

For them in saving such a desperate foe — 
He hew'd away, like doctors of theology 

When they dispute with sceptics; and with curses 

Struck at his friends, as babies beat their nurses. 


Nay, he had wounded, though but slightly, both 
Juan and Johnson ; whereupon they fell. 

The first with sighs, the second with an oath, 
Upon his angry sultanship, pell-mell. 

And all around were grown exceeding wroth 
At such a pertinacious infidel, 

And pour'd upon him and his sons like rain, 

Which they resisted like a sandy plain 


That drinks and still is dry. At last they perish'd — 
His second son was levell'd by a shot ; 

His third was sabred ; and the fourth, most cherish'd 
Of all the five, on bayonets met his lot; 

The fifth, who, by a Christian mother nourish'd, 
Had been neglected, ill-used, and what not. 

Because deform'd, yet died all game and bottom, 

To save a sire who blush'd that he begot him. 



The eldest was a true and tameless Tartar, 

As great a scorner of the Nazarene 
As ever Mahomet pick'd out for a martyr, 

Who only saw the black-eyed girls in green. 
Who make the beds of those who won't take quarter 

On earth, in Paradise ; and when once seen, 
Those houris, like all other pretty creatures^ 
Do just whate'er they please, by dint of features. 


And what they pleased to do with the young khan 
In heaven I know not, nor pretend to guess ; 

But doubtless they prefer a fine young man 
To tough old heroes, and can do no less ; 

And that 's the cause no doubt why, if we scan 
A field of battle's ghastly wilderness. 

For one rough, weather-beaten, veteran body, 

You'll find ten thousand handsome coxcombs bloody. 


Your houris also have a natural pleasure 
In lopping off your lately married men, 

Before the bridal hours have danced their measure. 
And the sad, second moon grows dim again. 

Or dull repentance hath had dreary leisure 
To wis-h him back a bachelor now and then. 

And thus your houri (it may be) disputes 

Of these brief blossoms the immediate fruits. 

CAKTOviii. DON JUAN. 255 


Thus the young khan, with houris in his sight, 
Thought not upon the charms of four young brides, 

But bravely rush'd on his first heavenly night. 
In short, howe'er our better faith derides, 

These black-eyed virgins make the Moslems fight, 
As though there were one heaven and none 
besides — 

Whereas, if all be true we hear of heaven 

And hell, there must at least be six or seven. 

So fully flash'd the phantom on his eyes, 

That when the very lance was in his heart, 
He shouted " Allah ! " and saw Paradise 

With all its veil of mystery drawn apart, 
And bright eternity without disguise 

On his soul, like a ceaseless sunrise, dart: — 
With prophets, houris, angels, saints, descried 
In one voluptuous blaze, — and then he died: 

But with a heavenly rapture on his face, 

The good old khan, who long had ceased to see 
Houris, or aught except his florid race 

Wlio grew like cedars round him gloriously — 
When he beheld his latest hero grace 

The earth, which he became like a fell'd tree. 
Paused for a moment from the fight, and cast 
A glance on that slain son, his first and last. 

256 DON JUAN. 



The soldiers, who beheld him drop his point, 
Stopp'd as if once more willing to concede 

Quarter, in case he bade them not " aroynt ! " 
As he before had done. He did not heed 

Their pause nor signs : his heart was out of joint, 
And shook (till now unshaken) like a reed, 

As he look'd down upon his children gone, 

And felt — though done with life — he was alone. (^) 


But 'twas a transient tremor: — with a spring ] 
Upon the Russian steel his breast he flung, 

As carelessly as hurls the moth her wing 

Against the light wherein she dies : he clung 

Closer, that all the deadlier they might wring. 
Unto the bayonets which had pierced his young ; 

And throwing back a dim look on his sons. 

In one wide wound pour'd forth his soul at once. 


'Tis strange enough — the rough, tough soldiers, who 
Spared neither sex nor age in their career 

Of carnage, when this old man was pierced through, 
And lay before them with his children near, 

Touch'd by the heroism of him they slew. 
Were melted for a moment ; though no tear 

Flow'd from their bloodshot eyes, all red with strife,.^ 

They honour'd such determined scorn of life. « 

(1) " Ces cinq fils furent tous tufes sous ces yeux : il ne cessa point de se 
battre, repondit par des coups de sabre aux propositions de se rendre, et 
ne fut atteint du coup mortel qu' aprfes avoir abattu de sa main beaucoup 
de Kozaks des plus acharnes h. sa prise; le reste de sa troupe fut 
TaasssiCiL"— Hist, de la N.B. p. 215.] 

CANTO viii. DON JUAN. 257 


But the stone bastion still kept up its fire, 
Where the chief pacha calmly held his post : 

Some twenty times he made the Russ retire, 
And baffled the assaults of all their host ; 

At length he condescended to enquire 
If yet the city's rest were won or lost ; 

And being told the latter, sent a bey 

To answer Ribas' summons to give way. (i) 


In the mean time, cross-legg'd^ with great sang-froid, 
Among the scorching ruins he sat smoking 

Tobacco on a little carpet; — Troy 

Saw nothing like the scene around; — yet looking 

With martial stoicism, nought seem'd to annoy 
His stern philosophy ; but gently stroking 

His beard, he pufTd his pipe's ambrosial gales, 

As if he had three lives, as well as tails. ('^) 

The town was taken — whether he might yield 

Himself or bastion, little matter'd now : 
His stubborn valour was no future shield, 

Ismail's no more ! The crescent's silver bow 

(1) [" Quoique les Rusge« f ussent rt'pandus dans la ville, le bastion de 
pi*rre r^istait encore : il etait d^fendu par un vieillard, pacha k trois 

ie«, et commandant les forces reunics a Ixmaol. On lui proposa une 
• ilation ; il demanda si le reste de la ville ^tait conqiiig; sur cette 
, .ii»e, il autorisa queiques-uns de ces officiers k capituler avec M. de 
Hiba*."— Hitt. tU- la N. It. p. 215.] 

(2) [** Pendant ce colloquc, 11 rcsta ^tendu sur des tapis places sur les 
mine* de U fortereMC, fumant sa pipe avec la meme tranquillity et la 
tai-me indifference que s'il eCJt *ti ctranger Ji tout ce qui «e passait." — 
"■-1 p. 215.] 


258 DON JUAN. 

CANTO viir. 

Sunk, and the crimson cross glared o'er the field, 

But red with no redeeming gore : the glow 
Of burning streets, like moonlight on the water, 
Was imaged back in blood, the sea of slaughter. 


All that the mind would shrink from of excesses ; 

All that the body perpetrates of bad ; 
All that we read, hear, dream, of man's distresses ; 

All that the devil would do if run stark mad ; 
All that defies the worst which pen expresses ; 

All by which hell is peopled, or as sad 
As hell — mere mortals who their power abuse— ^if 
Was here (as heretofore and since) let loose. (•) 


(1) [No man could describe, nor, if it were possible, could humanity 
bear the recital of, the horrors which ensued. The ferocious victors, in- 
stead of being struck with admiration or respect by the noble defence of 
the brave garrison, were so enraged at the great slaughter of their fellows 
which had taken place, that no bounds could be prescribed to the excess of 
their fixrj', nor did it seem that any amount of destruction, or any quantity 
of human blood, could satiate their revenge. The undistinguished carnage 
which then took place was rendered more dreadful by the continual heavy 
firing, the darkness of the night, the groans of the dying, and the lament- 
able shrieks of the women and children. All order and command seem to 
have been entirely at an end during the horrors of that terrible night : the 
officers could neither restrain the slaughter, nor prevent the general plun- 
der, made by the lawless and ferocious soldiers. Thousands of the Turks, 
incapable of enduring the sight of the horrid scenes of destruction in which 
all that was dear to them was involved, rushed desperately upon the 
bayonets of the enemy, in order to shorten their misery ; while those who 
could reach the Danube, threw themselves headlong into it for the same 
purpose. The streets and passages were so choked by the heaps of dead and 
dying bodies which lay in them, as considerably to impede the progress of 
the victors in their eager search for plunder. — Dr. Laurence, in Ann . 
Reg. for 11^1.1 



If here and there some transient trait of pity 
Was shown, and some more noble heart broke 

Its bloody bond, and saved, perhaps, some pretty 
Child, or an aged, helpless man or two — 

What 's this in one annihilated city, 

WTiere thousand loves, and ties, and duties grow ? 

Cockneys of London ! Muscadins of Paris I 

Just ponder what a pious pastime war is. 

Think how the joys of reading a Gazette 

Are purchased by all agonies and crimes : 
Or if these do not move you, don't forget 

Such doom may be your own in after-times. 
Meantime the Taxes, Castlereagh, and Debt, 

Are hints as good as sermons, or as rhymes. 
Read your own hearts and Ireland's present story, 
Tlien feed her famine fat with Wellesley's glory. 

But still there is unto a patriot nation. 

Which loves so well its country and its king, 
A subject of sublimest exultation — 

Bear it, ye Muses, on your brightest wing ! 
Howe'er the mighty locust, Desolation, 

Strip your green fields, and to your harvests cling, 
Gaunt famine never shall approach the throne — 
Though Ireland starve, great George weighs twenty 

s 2 

260 DON JUAN, 



But let me put an end unto my theme : 

There was an end of Ismail — hapless town ! 

Far flash'd her burning towers o'er Danube's stream, 
And redly ran his blushing waters down. 

The horrid war-whoop and the shriller scream 
Rose still ; but fainter were the thunders grown : 

Of forty thousand who had mann'd the wall, 

Some hundreds breathed — the rest were silent 


In one thing ne'ertheless 'tis fit to praise 
The Russian army upon this occasion, 

A virtue much in fashion now-a-days. 

And therefore worthy of commemoration : 

The topic 's tender, so shall be my phrase — 

Perhaps the season's chill, and their long station 

In winter's depth, or want of rest and victual, 

Had made them chaste ; — they ravish'd very little. 

(1) [" On ^gorgea indistinctement, on saccagea la place ; et la rage du 
vainqueur se repandit comme un torrent furieux qui a renvers^ les digue* 
qui le r^tenaient : personne obtint de grace, et trente huit mille huit cent 
soisante Turcs p^rirent dans cette journ^e de sang." — Hist, de la Nouv, 
Russie, torn. iii. p. 214. 

*' Among those who fell were a number of the bravest, most expe- 
rienced, and renowned commanders in the Turkish armies. Six or seven 
Tartar princes, of the illustrious line of Gherai, likewise perished with the 
rest. A few hundreds of prisoners were preserved, to serve as melancholy 
recorders and witnesses of the destruction which they had beheld. In 
consequence of an accurate enquiry set on foot by an Ottoman commander 
of rank, it appears that the whole number of Turks, who perished in the 
slaughter of Ismail, amounted to thirty-eight thousand eight hundred and 
sixteen." — Dr. Laurence.] 

ro v.ii. DON JUAN. 261 


Much did they slay, more plunder, and no less 
Might here and there occur some violation 

111 the other line; — but not to such excess 
As when the French, that dissipated nation, 

Take towns by storm : no causes can I guess, 
Except cold weather and commiseration ; 

But all the ladies, save some twenty score, 

Were almost as much virgins as before. 


Some odd mistakes, too, happen'd in the dark. 
Which show'd a want of lanterns, or of taste — 

Jndeed the smoke was such they scarce could mark 
Their friends from foes, — besides such things from 

Occur, though rarely, when there is a spark 
Of light to save the venerably chaste : 

But six old damsels, each of seventy years. 

Were all deflower'd by different grenadiers. 


But on the whole their continence was great ; 

So that some disappointment there ensued 
To those who had felt the inconvenient state 

Of " single blessedness," and thought it good 
(Since it was not their fault, but only fate. 

To bear these crosses) for each waning prude 
To make a Roman sort of Sabine wedding, 
Without the expense and the suspense of bedding. 

s 3 

262 DON JUAN. 



Some voices of the buxom middle-aged 
Were also heard to wonder in the din 

(Widows of forty were these birds long caged) 
" Wherefore the ravishing did not begin ! " 

But while the thirst for gore and plunder raged, 
There was small leisure for superfluous sin ; 

But whether they escaped or no, lies hid 

In darkness — I can only hope they did. 


Suwarrow now was conqueror — a match 

For Timour or for Zinghis in his trade, [thatch 

While mosques and streets, beneath his eyes, like 
Blazed, and the cannon's roar was scarce allay 'd, 

With bloody hands he wrote his first despatch ; 
And here exactly follows what he said: — 

" Glory to God and to the Empress ! " {Powers 

Eternal! such names mingled!) " Ismail's ours."(') 


Methinks these are the most tremendous words. 
Since " Mene, Mene, Tekel," and " Upharsin," 

Which hands or pens have ever traced of swords. 
Heaven help me I I'm but little of a parson : 

What Daniel read was short-hand of the Lord's, 
Severe, sublime ; the prophet wrote no farce on 

The fate of nations; — but this Russ so witty 

Could rhyme, like Nero, o'er a burning city.(-) 

(1) In the original Russian — 

" Slava bogu ! slava vam ! 
Krepost Vzala y ia tarn ;" 
a kind of couplet ; for he was a poet 

(2) [Mr. Tweddell, who met with Suwarrow in the Ukraine, says — " He 


DON JUAN. 263 


He wrote this Polar melody, and set it,' 
Duly accompanied by shrieks and groans, 

Which few will sing, I trust, but none forget it — 
For I will teach, if possible, the stones 

To rise against earth's tyrants. Never let it 
Be said that we still truckle unto thrones; — 

But ye — our children's children ! think how we 

Show'd wJiat tJuiigs were before the world was free ! 


Tliat hour is not for us, but 'tis for you : 
And as, in the great joy of your millennium, 

You hardly will believe such things were true 
As now occur, I thought that I would pen you 'em ; 

But may their very memory perish too ! — 

Yet if perchance remember'd, still disdain you 'em 

More than you scorn the savages of yore. 

Who painted their hare limbs, but not with gore. 

M • mort extraordinary character. He dines every morning about 
nine. He sleeps almost naked ; he affects a perfect indifference to heat 
and cold ; and quits his chamber, which approaches to suffocation, in order 
to review his troops, in a thin linen jacket, while the thermometer of Reau. 
Bur is at ten degrees below freezing. His manners correspond with his 
humours. I dined with him this morning. He cried to me across the table, 
— Tweddell !' (he generally addressed me by my surname, without addition) 
' the French have taken Portsmouth — 1 have just received a courier from 
England. The King is in the Tower; and Sheridan, Protector." A great 
deal of his whimsical manner is affected : he finds that it f uits his troops, 
and the peofile he has to deal with. I asked him, if, after the mafsacre at 
Ismail, he was perfectly satisfied with the conduct of the day. He said b« 
went home and wept in his imV — Rrmaim, p. 135.] 
S 4 


And when you hear historians talk of thrones, 

And those that sate upon them, let it be 
As we now gaze upon the mammoth's bones, M 

And wonder what old world such things could see, 
Or hieroglyphics on Egyptian stones, 

The pleasant riddles of futurity — 
Guessing at what shall happily be hid, 
As the real purpose of a pyramid. 


Reader I I have kept my word, — at least so far 
As the first Canto promised. You have now 

Had sketches of love, tempest, travel, war — 
All very accurate, you must allow. 

And epic, if plain truth should prove no bar ; 
For I have drawn much less with a long bow 

Than my forerunners. Carelessly I sing. 

But Phoebus lends me now and then a string, 

With which I still can harp, and carp, and fiddle. 

What farther hath befallen or may befall 
The hero of this grand poetic riddle, 

I by and by may tell you, if at all : 
But now I choose to break off in the middle, 

Worn out with battering Ismail's stubborn wall, 
While Juan is sent off with the despatch. 
For which all Petersburgh is on the watch, (i) 

(1) [" The ostentatious and fantastic display of the bloody trophies taken 
at Ismail, which were some time after exhibited at Petersburgh, was 
unworthy the greatness, the magnanimity, and the high character of the 

^ro vui. DON JUAN. 265 


This special honour was conferr'd, because 

He had behaved with courage and humanity — 

W'hicli last men Hke, when they have time to pause 
From their ferocities produced by vanity. 

His Httle captive gain'd him some applause 
For saving her amidst the wild insanity 

Of carnage, — and I think he was more glad in her 

Safety, than his new order of St. Vladimir. 


The Moslem orphan went with her protector, 
For she was homeless, houseless, helpless ; all 

Her friends, like the sad family of Hector, (') 
Had perish'd in the field or by the wall : 

Her very place of birth was but a spectre 

Of what it had been ; there the Muezzin's call(-) 

To prayer was heard no more ! — and Juan wept. 

And made a vow to shield her, which he kept.("^) 

Empress Catherine. The tragedy should have closed at the conclusion of 
the last act on the spot It was attributed more to a desire of gratifying 
the excessive vanity of Prince Potemkin, which was not easily satiated, than 
that of the empress herself"— Da. Laurence.] 

(1) See Iliad, b. xxiL 

(2) [Seean/e, Vol VIII. p. 91.] 

(3) [Cantos VI., VII., and VIII., if we except some parts of the assault 
of Ismail, contain a considerably less proportion of the higher class of 
poetry, than was to be found in those which preceded them. But in the 
keen and pervading satire, the bitter and biting irony, which constitute the 
peculiar forte of Lord Byron, we perceive no falling off in these present 
cantos. Nor are they deficient in that vein of playful humour, and that 
felicitous transition " from grave to gay, from lively to severe," so con- 
t|ricuous in their predecessors. The execution, on the whole, we think 
quite equal to that displayed in the earlier parts of the poem. — CampbeluI 



[Cantos IX., X., and XI. were written at Pisa, and published 
in London, by Mr. John Hunt, in August, 1823. We ex- 
tract the following specimens of contemporary criticism : — 

" That there is a great deal of what is objectionable in these three cantos, 
who can deny ? What can be more so than to attack the King, with low, 
vile, personal buffooneries — bottomed in utter falsehood, and expressed in 
crawling malice? What can be more exquisitely worthy of contempt 
than the savage imbecility of these eternal tirades against the Duke of 
Wellington ? What more pitiable than the state of mind that can find any 
gratification in calling such a man as Southey by nicknames that one would 
be ashamed of applying to a coal-heaver ? What can be so abject as this 
eternal trampling upon the dust of Castlereagh ? Lord Byron ought to 
know that all men, of all parties, unite in regarding all these things, but 
especially the first and the last, as insults to themselves, and as most miser- 
able degradations of him. 

" But still Don Juan is, without exception, the first of Lord Byron's 
works. It is by far the most original in point of conception. It is 
decidedly original in point of tone. It contains the finest specimens of 
serious poetry he has ever written ; and it contains the finest specimens of 
ludicrous poetry that our age has witnessed. Frere may have written the 
stanza earlier ; he may have written it more carefully, more musically, if 
you will ; but what is he to Byron ? Where is the sweep, the pith, the 
soaring pinion, the lavish luxury of genius revelling in strength. No : 
no : Don Juan, say the canting world what it will, is destined to hold a 
permanent rank in the literature of our country. It will always be referred 
to as furnishing the most powerful picture of that vein of thought (no 
matter how false and bad) which distinguishes a great portion of the think- 
ing people of our time." ' — Blackwood.] 




Oh, Wellington ! (or " Vilainton"(^) — for Fame 
Sounds the heroic syllables both ways ; 

France could not even conquer your great name, 
But punn'd it down to this facetious phrase — 

Beating or beaten she will laugh the same,) 

You have obtain'd great pensions and much praise : 

Glory like yours should any dare gainsay, 

Humanity would rise, and thunder " Nay ! " (2) 

I don't think that you used Kinnaird quite well 
In Marinet's affair (•^) — in fact, 'twas shabby, 
iid like some other things won't do to tell 
Upon your tomb in Westminster's old abbty. 

(1) [" M. de Vilainton a tout pris. 

Point d'argcnt dans la ville de Paris," &c. — De Beranceb. J 

(2) Query — Ney f — Printer's Devil 

11 [The late Lord Kinnaird was received in Paris, in 1S14, with great 
lity by the Duke of Wellington and the royal family of France, but 
.ic had hinueir presented to Buonaparte during the hundred days, and 
intrigucti on with those of that faction, in spite of the Duke's remon. 
strances, until the«tored government ordered him out of the French 
territory in ISlfiL In 1S17, he became acquainted at Brussels with one 
Marinil, an adventurer mixed up in a conspiracy to assassinate the Duke 
In the streets of Paris. This fellow at first promised to discover the man 
who actually shot at his Grace, but, on reaching Paris, shuffled and would 
•ay nothing ; and Lord Kinnaird'* avowed cause of complaint against the 


Upon the rest 'tis not worth while to dwell, 

Such tales being for the tea-hours of some tabby ; 
But though your years as man tend fast to zero, 
In fact your grace is still but a young hero, 

Though Britain owes (and pays you too) so much, 

Yet Europe doubtless owes you greatly more : 
You have repair'd Legitimacy's crutch, 

A prop not quite so certain as before : 
The Spanish, and the French, as well as Dutch, 

Have seen, and felt, how strongly you restore ; 
And Waterloo has made the world your debtor 
(I wish your bards would sing it rather better). 


You are "the best of cut-throats :"(i) — do not start; 

The phrase is Shakspeare's, and not misapplied : — 
War 's a brain-spattering, windpipe-slitting art. 

Unless her cause by right be sanctified. 
If you have acted once a generous part. 

The world, not the world's masters, will decide, 
And I shall be delighted to learn who. 
Save you and yours, have gain'd by Waterloo ? 


I am no flatterer — you've supp'd full of flattery: 
They say you like it too — 'tis no great wonder. 

He whose whole life has been assault and battery. 
At last may get a little tired of thunder ; 

Duke was, that he did not protect this creature from the French police, 
who, not doubting that he had been one of the conspirators against his 
Grace's life, arrested him accordingly. He was tried along with the actual 
aasassin, and both were acquitted by the Parisian jury. — E.] 
(1) [" Thou art the best o' the cut-throats."— Macbeth, act iil sc. iii.] 

sroix. DON JUAN. 271 

id swallowing eulogy much more than satire, he 
May like being praised for every lucky blunder, 
L-iU'd " Saviour of the Nations" — not yet saved, 
And " Europe's Liberator" — still enslaved, (i) 


I *ve done. Now go and dine from off the plate 
Presented by the Prince of the Brazils, 

And send the sentinel before your gate (-) 
A slice or two from your luxurious meals : 

He fought, but has not fed so well of late. 

Some hunger, too, they say the people feels: — 

Tiiere is no doubt that you deserve your ration, 

But pray give back a little to the nation. 


I don't mean to reflect — a man so great as 
You, my lord duke ! is far above reflection : 

The high Roman fashion, too, of Cincinnatus, 
With modern history has but small connection : 

Though as an Irishman you love potatoes. 

You need not take them under your direction ; 

Vnd half a million for your Sabine farm 

Is rather dear! — I'm sure I mean no harm. 

(1) Vide Speeches in Parliament, after the battle of Waterloo. 

(2) ** I at thij time got a post, being for fatigue, with four others. We 
were sent to break biscuit, and make a mess for Lord Wellington's hounds. 
I was very hungry, and thought it a good job at the time, as we got our own 
fill while we broke the biscuit,— a thing I had not got for some days. When 
thus engaged, the Prodigal Son was never once out of my mind ; and I 
•ighed, as I fed the dogs, over my humble situation and my ruined hope*." 
— Journal of a Soldier oj the lUt Regiment during the IVar in Spain. 



Great men have always scorn'd great recompenses : 
Epaminondas saved his Thebes, and died, 

Not leaving even his funeral expenses : (') 

George Washington had thanks and nought beside, 

Except the all-cloudless glory (which few men's is) 
To free his country : Pitt too had his pride, 

And as a high-soul'd minister of state is 

Renown'd for ruining Great Britain gratis. (2) 


Never had mortal man such opportunity, 
Except Napoleon, or abused it more : 

You might have freed fallen Europe from the unity 
Of tyrants, and been blest from shore to shore : 

And now — what is your fame ? Shall the Muse 
tune it ye ? 
Now — that the rabble's first vain shouts are o'er? 

Go ! hear it in your famish'd country's cries ! 

Behold the world I and curse your victories I 


As these new cantos touch on warlike feats, 

To you the unflattering Muse deigns to inscribe 

Truths, that you will not read in the Gazettes, 
But which 'tis time to teach the hireling tribe 

(1) [" In other illustrious men you will observe that each possessed some 
one shining quality, which was the foundation of his fame : in Epami- 
nondas, all the virtues are found united ; force of body, eloquence of ex- 
pression, vigour of mind, contempt of riches." — Dion. Sic. lib. xv.] 

(2) [Those persons who represent our statesmen as living and fattening 
upon the public spoil, must either be grossly ignorant, or wicked enough to 
employ arguments which they know to be false The emoluments of office, 
almost in every department of the state, and especially in all the highest, 
are notoriously inadequate to the expenditure which the situation requires. 
Mr. Pitt, who was no gambler, no prodigal, and too much a man of busi- 
ness to have expensive habits of any kind, died in debt; and the nation 
discharged his debts, not less as a mark of respect, than as an act of jus- 
tice. — SOLTHEY.] 


Who fatten on their country's gore, and debts, 

Mitst be recited, and — without a bribe. 
You did great things ; but not being great in mind, 
Have left undone the greatest — and mankind. 

Death laughs — Go ponder o'er the skeleton 
With which men image out the unknown thing 

That hides the past world, like to a set sun 

Wliich still elsewhere may rouse a brighter spring — 

Death laughs at all you weep for : — look upon 
This hourly dread of all I whose threaten d sting 

Turns life to terror, even though in its sheath : 

Mark ! how its lipless mouth grins without breath I 


Mark ! how it laughs and scorns at all you are ! 

And yet was what you are : from ear to ear 
It laughs not — there is now no fleshy bar 

So caird ; the Antic long hath ceased to hear, 
But still he smiles ; and whether near or far 

He strips from man that mantle (far more dear 
Than even the tailor's), his incarnate skin, 
WTiite, black, or copper — the dead bones will grin. 


And thus Death laughs, — it is sad merriment, 
But still it w so ; and with such example 

Why should not Life be equally content 
With his superior, in a smile to trample 


274< DON JUAN. 


Upon the nothings which are daily spent 

Like bubbles on an ocean much less ample 
Than the eternal deluge, which devours 
Suns as rays — worlds like atoms — years like hours ? 


" To be, or not to be ? that is the question," 

Says Shakspeare, who just now is much in fashion. 

I am neither Alexander nor Hephaestion, 

Nor ever had for abstract fame much passion ; 

But would much rather have a sound digestion 
Than Buonaparte's cancer: — could I dash on 

Through fifty victories to shame or fame, 

Without a stomach — what were a good name ? 


" Oh dura ilia messorum !"(i) — " Oh 
Ye rigid guts of reapers ! " I translate 

For the great benefit of those who know 
What indigestion is — that inward fate 

Which makes all Styx through one small liver flow. 
A peasant's sweat is worth his lord's estate : 

Let this one toil for bread — that rack for rent, 

He who sleeps best may be the most content. 


" To be, or not to be ?" — Ere I decide, 

I should be glad to know that which is being 9 

Tis true we speculate both far and wide, 
And deem, because we see^ we are all-seeing: 

(1) [•* 0, dura messorum ilia t " &c. — HoR.] 


For my part, 111 enlist on neither side, 

Until I see both sides for once agreeing. 
For me, I sometimes think that life is death, 
Rather than life a mere affair of breath. 


" Que scais-je?" (,) was the motto of Montaigne, 

As also of the first academicians ; 
Tliat all is dubious which man may attain, 

Was one of their most favourite positions. 
There's no such thing as certainty, that's plain 

As any of Mortality's conditions ; 
So little do we know what we're about in 
This world, I doubt if doubt itself be doubting. 


It is a pleasant voyage perhaps to float, 
Like Pyrrho, (^) on a sea of speculation ; 

But what if carrying sail capsize the boat? 

Your wise men don't know much of navigation ; 

And swimming long in the abyss of thought 
Is apt to tire : a calm and shallow station 

Well nigh the shore, where one stoops down and 

Some pretty shell, is best for moderate bathers. 


" But heaven," as Cassio says, " is above all — (^) 
, No more of this, then, — let us pray I" We have 


■^■11) [See Biographie UniTeraelle, torn. xxix. p. 434.3 

^ ^ [Pyrrho, the philosopher of Eli«, was in continual suspense of 
Judgment : he doubted of every thing ; never made any conclusion ; and 
when he had carefully examined a subject, and investigated all its points, 
be concluded by still doubting of its evidence. — AtL. Gel.] 
(3) See Othellow 

T 2 


Souls to save, since Eve's slip and Adam's fall, 
Which tumbled all mankind into the grave, 

Besides fish, beasts, and birds. " The sparrow's fall 
Is special providence," (') though how it gave 

Offence, we know not ; probably it perch'd 

Upon the tree which Eve so fondly search'd. 


Ob ! ye immortal Gods ! what is theogony ? 

Oh! thou, too, mortal man ! what is philanthropy ? 
Oh ! world, which was and is, what is cosmogony? 

Some people have accused me of misanthropy ; 
And yet I know no more than the mahogany 

That forms this desk, of what they mean ; lykan- 
thropy (2) 
I comprehend, for without transformation 
Men become wolves on any slight occasion. 


But I, the mildest, meekest of mankind, 

Like Moses, or Melancthon, who have ne'er 

Done any thing exceedingly unkind, — 

And (though I could not now and then forbear 

Following the bent of body or of mind) 
Have always had a tendency to spare, — 

Why do they call me misanthrope ? Because 

They hate me, not I them : — and here we'll pause. 

(1) t ** We defy augury : there is a special 

Providence in the fall of a sparrow." — Hamlet.'} 

(2) f" A kind of madness, in which men have the qualities of wild 
beasts."— Todd.3 



'Tis time we should proceed with our good poem, — 

For I maintain that it is really good, 
Not only in the body but the proem, 

However little both are understood 
Just now, — but by and by the Truth will show 'em 

Herself in her sublimest attitude : 
And till she doth, I fain must be content 
To share her beauty and her banishment. 


Our hero (and, I trust, kind reader ! yours — ) 
Was left upon his way to the chief city 

Of the immortal Peter's polish'd boors, [witty. 

WTio still have shown themselves more brave than 

I know its mighty empire now allures 

Much flattery — even Voltaire's, and that 's a pity. 

For me, I deem an absolute autocrat 

Not a barbarian, but much worse than that. 


And I will war, at least in words (and — should 
My chance so happen — deeds) with all who war 

With Thought; — and of Thought's foes by far most 
Tyrants and sycophants have been and are. [rude, 

I know not who may conquer : if I could 
Have such a prescience, it should be no bar 

To this my plain, sworn, downright detestation 

Of every despotism in every nation. 
T 3 



It is not that I adulate the people : 

Without me^ there are demagogues enough, 

And infidels, to pull down every steeple, 
And set up in their stead some proper stuff. 

Whether they may sow scepticism to reap hell, 
As is the Christian dogma rather rough, 

I do not know ; — I wish men to be free 

As much from mobs as kings — from you as me. 


The consequence is, being of no party, 
I shall offend all parties : — never mind I 

My words, at least, are more sincere and hearty 
Than if I sought to sail before the wind. 

He who has nought to gain can have small art : he 
Who neither wishes to be bound or bind, 

May still expatiate freely, as will I, 

Nor give my voice to slavery's jackall cry. 


Tliat's an appropriate simile, that jackall ; — 
I've heard them in the Ephesian ruins howl(') 

By night, as do that mercenary pack all, 

Power's base purveyors, who for pickings prowl. 

And scent the prey their masters would attack all. 
However, the poor jackalls are less foul 

(As being the brave lions' keen providers) 

Than human insects, catering for spiders. 

(1) In Greece I never saw or heard these animals ; but among the ruins 
of Ephesus I have heard them by hundreds. [See ariU, VoL X. p. 14SJ 




Raise but an arm I *twill brush their web away, 
And without that^ their poison and their claws 

Are useless. Mind, good people ! what I say — 
(Or rather peoples) — go oil without pause ! 

The web of these tarantulas each day 

Increases, till you shall make common cause : 

None, save the Spanish fly and Attic bee, 

As yet are strongly stinging to be free. 


Don Juan, who had shone in the late slaughter, 
Was left upon his way with the despatch. 

Where blood was talk'd of as we would of water ; 
And carcasses that lay as thick as thatch 

O'er silenced cities, merely served to flatter 

Fair Catherine's pastime — who look'd on the match 

Between these nations as a main of cocks, 

Wherein she liked her own to stand like rocks. 


And there in a kibitka he roll'd on, 

(A cursed sort of carriage without springs. 
Which on rough roads leaves scarcely a whole bone,) 

Pondering on glory, chivalry, and kings. 
And orders, and on all that he had done — 
And wishing that post-horses had the wings 

Pegasus, or at the least post-chaises 
[ad feathers, when a traveller on deep ways is. 
T 4- 



At every jolt — and they were many — still 
He turn'd his eyes upon his little charge, 

As if he wish'd that she should fare less ill 
Than he, in these sad highways left at large 

To ruts, and flints, and lovely Nature's skill, 
Who is no paviour, nor admits a barge 

On her canals, where God takes sea and land. 

Fishery and farm, both into his own hand. 


At least he pays no rent, and has best right 
To be the first of what we used to call 

" Gentlemen farmers" — a race worn out quite, 
Since lately there have been no rents at all. 

And " gentlemen" are in a piteous plight. 

And " farmers" can't raise Ceres from her fall : 

She fell with Buonaparte — What strange thoughts 

Arise, when we see emperors fall with oats ! 


But Juan turn'd his eyes on the sweet child 

Whom he had saved from slaughter — what a trophy ! 

Oh ! ye who build up monuments, defiled 

W^ith gore, like Nadir Shah, that costive sophy. 

Who, after leaving Hindostan a wild, 

And scarce to the Mogul a cup of coffee 

To soothe his woes withal, was slain, the sinner ! 

Because he could no more digest his dinner; — (^) 

(1) He was killed in a conspiracy, after his temper had been exasperated 
by his extreme costivity to a degree of insanity. 



Oh ye ! or we ! or he ! or she ! reflect, 
That one life saved, especially if young 

Or pretty, is a thing to recollect 

Far sweeter than the greenest laurels sprung 

From the manure of human clay, though deck'd 
With all the praises ever said or sung :(i) 

Though hymn'd by every harp, unless within 

Your heart joins chorus, Fame is but a din. 


Oh ! ye great authors luminous, voluminous I 
Ye twice ten hundred thousand daily scribes ! 

Whose pamphlets, volumes, newspapers, illumine us ! 
\\liether you 're paid by government in bribes, 

To prove the public debt is not consuming us — 
Or, roughly treading on the " courtier's kibes" 

With clownish heel,(-) your popular circulation 

Feeds you by printing half the realm's starvation ; — 


Oh, ye great authors ! — " Apropos des bottes," — 
I have forgotten what I meant to say. 

As sometimes have been greater sages' lots ; — 
'Twas something calculated to allay 

All wrath in barracks, palaces, or cots : 

Certes it would have been but thrown away, 

And that 's one comfort for my lost advice, 

Although no doubt it was beyond all price. 

l\) [" One Tlrtuou*. or a mere good-natured deed, 

Doe« all dc«crt In sciences exceed." — Sheffield.] 
(8) C** The age is grown so picked, that the toe of the peasant 
near the heel of the courtier, be galls bii kibe. — HamUt.^ 



But let it go: — it will one day be found 

With other relics of " a former world," 
When this world shall be former, underground, 

Thrown topsy-turvy, twisted, crisp'd, and curl'd, 
Baked, fried, or burnt, turn'd inside-out, or drown'd, 

Like all the worlds before, which have been hurl'd 
First out of, and then back again to chaos. 
The superstratum which will overlay us. 

So Cuvier says ; — and then shall come again 

Unto the new creation, rising out 
From our old crash, some mystic, ancient strain 

Of things destroy'd and left in airy doubt : 
Like to the notions we now entertain 

Of Titans, giants, fellows of about 
Some hundred feet in height, not to say miles, 
And mammoths, and your winged crocodiles. 


Think if then George the Fourth should be dug up I 
How the new worldlings of the then new East 

Will wonder where such animals could sup I 
(For they themselves will be but of the least : 

Even worlds miscarry, when too oft they pup. 
And every new creation hath decreased 

In size, from overworking the material — 

Men are but maggots of some huge Earth's burial.) 

vXTOix. DON JUAN. 283 


How will — to these young people, just thrust out 
From some fresh Paradise, and set to plough, 

And dig, and sweat, and turn themselves about, 
And plant, and reap, and spin, and grind, and sow, 

Till all the arts at length are brought about, 
Especially of war and taxing, — how, 

I say, will these great relics, when they see 'em, 

Look like the monsters of a new museum ? 


But I am apt to grow too metaphysical : 

" The time is out of joint," (') — and so am I ; 

I quite forget this poem *s merely quizzical. 
And deviate into matters rather dry. 

I ne'er decide what I shall say, and this I call 
Much too poetical : men should know why 

They write, and for what end ; but, note or text, 

I never know the word which will come next. 


So on I ramble, now and then narrating. 

Now pondering : — it is time we should narrate. 

I left Don Juan with his horses baiting — 
Now we'll get o'er the ground at a great rate. 

I shall not be particular in stating 

His journey, we've so many tours of late : 

Suppose him then at Petersburgh ; suppose 

That pleasant ca[)ital of painted snows ; 

(1) [" The time ia out ot joint : — O cursed spite ! 

That ever I was bom to set it right." —/fa/n/r/.] 

284? DON JUAN. 



Suppose him in a handsome uniform ; 

A scarlet coat, black facings, a long plume, 
Waving, like sails new shiver'd in a storm, 

Over a cock'd hat in a crowded room. 
And brilliant breeches, bright as a Cairn Gorme, Q) 

Of yellow casimire we may presume, 
White stockings drawn uncurdled as new milk 
O'er limbs whose symmetry set off the silk ; 


Suppose him sword by side, and hat in hand. 
Made up by youth, fame, and an army tailor — 

That great enchanter, at whose rod's command 
Beauty springs forth, and Nature's self turns paler, 

Seeing how Art can make her work more grand 
(When she don't pin men's limbs in like a gaoler), — 

Behold him placed as if upon a pillar ! He 

Seems Love turn'd a lieutenant of artillery ! 

XLV. » 

His bandage slipp'd down into a cravat ; 

His wings subdued to epaulettes ; his quiver 
Shrunk to a scabbard, with his arrows at 

His side as a small sword, but sharp as ever ; 
His bow converted into a cock'd hat ; 

But still so like, that Psyche were more clever 
Than some wives (who make blunders no less stupid), 
If she had not mistaken him for Cupid. 

(1) [A yellow-coloured crystal, denominated from a hill in Inverness- 
shire, where it is found. This has been generally called the Scottish t(^z : 
but it now gives place to another crystal of a far harder quality, found near 
Invercauld. — Jamieson.] 


DON JUAN. 285 


The courtiers stared, the ladies whisper' d, and 
The empress smiled: the reigning favourite 
frown'd — 

I quite forget which of them was in hand 

Just then ; as they are rather numerous found, 

^V^lo took by turns that difficult command 
Since first her majesty was singly crown'd : 

But they were mostly nervous six-foot fellows, 

All fit to make a Patagonian jealous. 


Juan was none of these, but slight and slim, 
Blushing and beardless; and yet ne'ertheless 

There was a something in his turn of limb. 

And still more in his eye, which seem'd to express, 

That though he look'd one of the seraphim, 
There lurk'd a man beneath the spirit's dress. 

Besides, the empress sometimes liked a boy, 

And had just buried the fair-faced Lanskoi.(i) 

'1) He was the grande passion of the grande Catharine. See her Lives 
under the head of " Lanskoi." — [" Lanskoi was a youth of as fine and 
interesting a figure as the imagination can paint Of all Catherine's fa- 
Touritet, he was the man whom she loved the most His education having 
been neglected, she took the care of his improvement upon herself. In 
1784, he was attacked with a fever, and perished in the flower of his age, in 
the arms of her majesty. When he was no more, Catherine gave herself 
up to the most poignant grief, and remained three months without going 
out of her palace of Tzarsko-selo. She afterwards raised a superb monu- 
ment to his memory, in the gardens of that imperial scat. Lanskoi's fortune 
was estimated at three million rubles. He bequeathed it to the empress, 
who returned it to the sisters of that favourite, reserving only to herself the 
right of purchasiog the pictures, medals, and library." — TookeJ 



No wonder tlien that YermolofF, or Momonoff, 

Or ScherbatofF, or any other off 
Or on, might dread her majesty had not room enough 

Within her bosom (which was not too tough) 
For a new flame ; a thought to cast of gloom enough 

Along the aspect, whether smooth or rough, 
Of him who, in the language of his station, 
Then held that " high official situation." 


O, gentle ladies ! should you seek to know 
The import of this diplomatic phrase, 

Bid Ireland's Londonderry's Marquess (^) show 
His parts of speech ; and in the strange displays 

Of that odd string of words, all in a row, 
Which none divine, and every one obeys. 

Perhaps you may pick out some queer no meaning, 

Of that weak wordy harvest the sole gleaning. 


I think I can explain myself without 
That sad inexplicable beast of prey — 

That Sphinx, whose words would ever be a doubt, 
Did not his deeds unriddle them each day — 

That monstrous hieroglyphic — that long spout 
Of blood and water, leaden Castlereagh ! 

And here I must an anecdote relate, 

But luckily of no great length or weight. 

(1) This was written long before the suicide of that person. 



An English lady ask'd of an Italian, 
What were the actual and official duties 

Of tlie strange thing, some women set a value on, 
WTiich hovers oft about some married beauties, 

Called " Cavalier servente ?"(0 ^ Pygmalion 
Whose statues warm (I fear, alas ! too true 'tis) 

Beneath his art. The dame, press'd to disclose them, 

Said — " Lady, I beseech you to suppose them" 


And thus I supplicate your supposition, 
And mildest, matron-like interpretation, 

Of the imperial favourite's condition. 

'Twas a high place, the highest in the nation 

In fact, if not in rank ; and the suspicion 
Of any one's attaining to his station. 

No doubt gave pain, where each new pair of shoulders, 

If rather broad, made stocks rise and their holders. 


Juan, I said, was a most beauteous boy, 
And had retain'd his boyish look beyond 

The usual hirsute seasons which destroy. 

With beards and whiskers, and the like, the fond 

Parisiati aspect which upset old Troy 

And founded Doctors' Commons : — I have conn'd 

The history of divorces, which, though chequer'd. 

Calls Ilion's the first damages on record. 

(1) CS«eaiirt,VolXL p. 119.] 



And Catherine, who loved all things, (save her lord, 
Who was gone to his place,) and pass'd for much. 

Admiring those (by dainty dames abhorr'd) 
Gigantic gentlemen, yet had a touch 

Of sentiment ; and he she most adored 
Was the lamented Lanskoi, who was such 

A lover as had cost her many a tear. 

And yet but made a middling grenadier. 


Oh thou " teterrima causa" of all " belli" — Q) 
Thou gate of life and death — thou nondescript ! 

Whence is our exit and our entrance, — well I 
May pause in pondering how all souls are dipt 

In thy perennial fountain : — how man fell, I 

Know not, since knowledge saw her branches stript 

Of her first fruit ; but how he falls and rises 

Since, thou hast settled beyond all surmises. 


Some call thee " the worst cause of war," but I 
Maintain thou art the best: for after all 

From thee we come, to thee we go, and why 
To get at thee not batter down a wall, 

Or waste a world ? since no one can deny 

Thou dost replenish worlds both great and small : 

With, or without thee, all things at a stand 

Are, or w ould be, thou sea of life's dry land ! 

(1) Hor. Sat. lib. i. sat. iii. 

ro II. DON JUAN. 289 


Catherine, who was the grand epitome 

Of that great cause of war, or peace, or what 

You please (it causes all the things which be, 
So you may take your choice of this or that) — 

Catherine, I say, was very glad to see 

The handsome herald, on whose plumage sat 

\'ictory ; and, pausing as she saw him kneel 

With his despatch, forgot to break the seal. Q) 


Then recolfecting the whole empress, nor 

Forgetting quite the woman (which composed 

At least three parts of this great whole), she tore 
The letter open with an air which posed 

The court, that watch'd each look her visage wore. 
Until a royal smile at length disclosed 

Fair weather for the day. Though rather spacious, 

Her face was noble, her eyes fine, mouth gracious. (^) 

(1) [The union of debauchery and ferocity which characterised Cathe- 
rine, are admirably depicted in lier manner of feeding her ambition with 
the penual of the dispatch, and gratifying her rising passion with the con- 
templation of Juan ; who, in spite of the jealousy and murmurings of rival 
expectanU and candidates, is fairly installed into the " high official situ, 
ation" of Catherine's favourite — Campbell.] 

(2) [" Catherine had been handsome in her youth, and she preserved 
s gracefulneas and majesty to the last period of her life. She was of a 
moderate stature, but well proportioned ; and as she carried her head very 
high, she appeared rather talL She had an open front, an aquiline nose, 
an a g ree a b l e mouth, and her chin, though long, was not misshapen. Her 
hair was auburn, her eyebrows black and rather thick, and her blue eyes 
had a gentleness which was often affected, but oflener still a mixture of 
pride. Her physic^pomy was not deficient in expression; but this ex- 
prc»siun never discovered what was passing in the soul of Catherine, or 
rather it served her the better to disguise it." — Too&e.] 




Great joy was hers, or rather joys : the first 
Was a ta'en city, thirty thousand slain. 

Glory and triumph o'er her aspect burst. 
As an East Indian sunrise on the main. 

These quench'd a moment her ambition's thirst — I 
So Arab deserts drink in summer's rain : 

In vain I — As fall the dews on quenchless sands. 

Blood only serves to wash Ambition's hands ! 


Her next amusement was more fanciful ; 

She smiled at mad Suwarrow's rhymes, who threw 
Into a Russian couplet rather dull 

The whole gazette of thousands whom he slew.(') 
Her third was feminine enough to annul 

The shudder which runs naturally through 
Our veins, when things call'd sovereigns think it best 
To kill, and generals turn it into jest. 


The two first feelings ran their course complete. 
And lighted first her eye, and then her mouth : 

The whole court look'd immediately most sweet, 
Like flowers well water'd after a long drouth : — 

But when on the lieutenant at her feet 
Her majesty, who liked to gaze on youth 

Almost as much as on a new despatch, 

Glanced mildly, all the world was on the watch. 

(1) £" Suwarrow is as singular for the brevity of his style as for the 
rapidity of his conquests. On the taking Tourtourkaya, in Bulgaria, he 
actually wrote no more to the empress than two lines of Russ poetry : — 
' Slawo Bogon, Slawo bowam. 
Glory to God, glory to you, 
Tourtourkaya aviala, ia tam, 
Tourtourkaya is taken, here am I.' " — Tooke.] 

DON JUAN. 291 


"hough somewhat large, exuberant, and truculent, 
When wroth — whWe pleased, she was as fine a figure 

As those who like things rosy, ripe, and succulent, 
Would wish to look on, while they are in vigour. 

She could repay each amatory look you lent 
With interest, and in turn was wont with rigour 

To exact of Cupid's bills the full amount 

At sight, nor would permit you to discount. 


With her the latter, though at times convenient. 
Was not so necessary ; for they tell [lenient, 

That she was handsome, and though fierce looKd 
And always used her favourites too well. 

If once beyond her boudoir's precincts in ye went. 
Your " fortune" was in a fair way " to swell 

A man" (as Giles says) (^) ; for though she would 
widow all 

\ations, she liked man as an individual. 


What a strange thing is man ! and what a stranger 
Is woman ! What a whirlwind is her head. 

And what a whirlpool full of depth and danger 
Is all the rest about her I Whether wed. 

Or widow, maid or mother, she can change her 
Mind like the wind : whatever she has said 

Or done, is light to what she'll say or do ; — 

The oldest thing on record, and yet new I 

1) " HU fortune twellB him, it is rank, he's married."— Sir Giles 
jvcrrcach ; MAaaiNGEa'* ** Scio Way to pay old Debts. " 

u 2 



Oh Catherine ! (for of all interjections, 

To thee both oh ! and ah ! belong of right 

In love and war) how odd are the connections 
Of human thoughts, which jostle in their flight ! 

Just now yours were cut out in different sections : 
First Ismail's capture caught your fancy quite ; 

Next of new knights, the fresh and glorious batch ; 

And Hiirdly he who brought you the despatch ! 


Shakspeare talks of " the herald Mercury 
New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill ;"(^) 

And some such visions cross'd her majesty. 
While her young herald knelt before her still. 

'Tis very true the hill seem'd rather high, 
For a lieutenant to climb up ; but skill 

Smooth'd even the Simplon's steep, and by God's 

With youth and health all kisses are "heaven-kissing." 


Her majesty look'd down, the youth look'd up — 
And so they fell in love ; — she with his face, 

His grace, his God-knows-what : for Cupid's cup 
With the first draught intoxicates apace, 

A quintessential laudanum or " black drop," 

Which makes one drunk at once, without the base 

Expedient of full bumpers ; for the eye 

In love drinks all life's fountains (save tears) dry. 

(I) [Hamlet, act iii. sc iv.] 

xsroix. DON JUAN. 293 


He, on the other hand, if not in love, 
Fell into that no less imperious passion, 

Self-love — which, when some sort of thing above 
Ourselves, a singer, dancer, much in fashion. 

Or duchess, princess, empress, " deigns to prove "(^ 
('Tis Pope's phrase) a great longing, though a 

For one especial person out of many, [rash one, 

Makes us believe ourselves as good as any. 


Besides, he was of that delighted age 

Which makes all female ages equal — when 

W'e don't much care with whom we may engage, 
As bold as Daniel in the lion*s den, 

So that we can our native sun assuage 

In the next ocean, which may flow just then. 

To make a twilight in, just as Sol's heat is 

Quench'd in the lap of the salt sea, or Thetis. 


And Catherine (we must say thus much for Catherine), 
Though bold and bloody, was the kind of thing 

Whose temporary passion was quite flattering. 
Because each lover look'd a sort of king, 
' ule up upon an amatory pattern, 
A royal husband in all save the ring — 

Which, being the damn'dest part of matrimony, 

Seem'd taking out the sting to leave the honey. 

(1) C" Not Ccur'i empreu would I deign to prove : 

No ! make me mUtreu to the man 1 love."— Pope : Elou(k1 

u 3 



And when you add to this, her womanhood 
In its meridian, her blue eyes(^) or gray — 

(The last, if they have soul, are quite as good, 
Or better, as the best examples say : 

Napoleon's, Mary's (2) (queen of Scotland), should 
Lend to that colour a transcendent ray ; 

And Pallas also sanctions the same hue. 

Too wise to look through optics black or blue) — 


Her sweet smile, and her then majestic figure. 
Her plumpness, her imperial condescension. 

Her preference of a boy to men much bigger 
(Fellows whom Messalina's self would pension). 

Her prime of life, just now in juicy vigour, 
With other extras, which we need not mention, — 

All these, or any one of these, explain 

Enough to make a stripling very vain. 


And that's enough, for love is vanity, 

Selfish in its beginning as its end. 
Except where 'tis a mere insanity, 

A maddening spirit which would strive to blend 
Itself with beauty's frail inanity. 

On which the passion's self seems to depend : 
And hence some heathenish philosophers 
Make love the main spring of the universe. 

(1) [" Several persons who lived at the court affirm that Catherine had 
very blue eyes, and not gray, as M. Rulhiferes has stated." — Tooke.] 

(2) [See ante, p. 96.] 



Besides Platonic love, besides the love 
Of God, the love of sentiment, the loving 

Of faithful pairs — (I needs must rhyme with dove. 
That good old steam -boat which keeps verses moving 

'Gainst reason — Reason ne'er was hand-and-glove 
With rhyme, but always leant less to improving 

The sound than sense) — besides all these pretences 

To love, there are those things which words name 
senses ; 


Those movements, those improvements in our bodies 
Which make all bodies anxious to get out 

Of their own sand-pits, to mix with a goddess. 
For such all women are at first no doubt. 

How beautiful that moment! and how odd is 
That fever which precedes the languid rout 

Of our sensations ! What a curious way 

The whole thing is of clothing souls in clay ! 


The noblest kind of love is love Platonical, 
To end or to begin with ; the next grand 

Is that which may be christen'd love canonical, 
Because the clergy take the thing in hand ; 

The third sort to be noted in our chronicle 
As flourishing in every Christian land, 
. when chaste matrons to their other ties 

Add what may be call'd marriage in disguise, 
u 4 



Well, we won't analyse — our story must 
Tell for itself: the sovereign was smitten, 

Juan much flatter'd by her love, or lust; — 
I cannot stop to alter words once written, 

And the two are so mix'd with human dust, [on: 
That he who names one, both perchance may hit 

But in such matters Russia's mighty empress 

Behaved no better than a common sempstress. 


The whole court melted into one wide whisper. 
And all lips were applied unto all ears ! 

The elder ladies' wrinkles curl'd much crisper 
As they beheld ; the younger cast some leers 

On one another, and each lovely lisper 

Smiled as she talk'd the matter o'er ; but tears 

Of rivalship rose in each clouded eye 

Of all the standing army who stood by. 


All the ambassadors of all the powers 

Enquired, Who was this very new young man. 

Who promised to be great in some iew hours ? 
Which is full soon (though life is but a span). 

Already they beheld the silver showers 
Of rubles rain, as fast as specie can, 

Upon his cabinet, besides the presents 

Of several ribands, and some thousand peasants. (-) 

(1) n" Lust, through certain strainers well refined, 

Is gentle love, and charms all womankind." — Pope.] 

(2) A Russian estate is always valued by the number of the slaves 
upon it . 



atherine was generous, — all such ladies are: 
Love, that great opener of the heart and all 

The ways that lead there, be they near or far, 
Above, below, by turnpikes great or small, — 

Love — (though she had a cursed taste for war, 
And was not the best wife,(i) unless we call 

Such Clytemnestra, though perhaps 'tis better 

That one should die, than two drag on the fetter) — 


Love had made Catherine make each lover's fortune, 
Unlike our own half-chaste Elizabeth, 

Whose avarice all disbursements did importune, 
If history, the grand liar, ever saith 

The truth; andthoughgriefheroldagemightshorten. 
Because she put a favourite to death, 

Her vile, ambiguous method of flirtation. 

And stinginess, disgrace her sex and station. 

1) [" Peter the Third died in July, 1762, just one week after his depo- 
sition. The real manner in which he came by his death is one of 
those events over which, it is probable, there will be for ever a veil im- 
penetrable to human eyes, and known only to that Being to whom the 
heart is open, and from whom no secrets are conccale<J. The partisans that 
might have retained their attachment to him after his fall ; the mur- 
murs of the populace, who quietly permit revolutions to be effected, and 
afterwards lament those who have fallen their victims ; the difficulties 
arising from keeping in custody a prisoner of such consequence; all 
these motives in conjunction tend to give credit to the opinion, that some 
hand of uncontrollable authority shortened his days. But the conduct of 
' itherine l)efore that event, and eapecially for four and thirty years that 
•- afterwards reigned, is of itself alone a suificient refutation of so atro> 
^>us a calumny as would fix Uie guilt of it on her."— Tooke.] 


But when the levee rose, and all was bustle 

In the dissolving circle, all the nations' 
Ambassadors began as 't were to hustle 

Round the young man with their congratulations. 
Also the softer silks were heard to rustle 

Of gentle dames, among whose recreations 
It is to speculate on handsome faces, 
Especially when such lead to high places. 


Juan, who found himself, he knew not how, 
A general object of attention, made 

His answers with a very graceful bow, 
As if born for the ministerial trade. 

Though modest, on his unembarrass'd brow 
Nature had written " gentleman." He said 

Little, but to the purpose ; and his manner 

Flung hovering graces o'er him like a banner. 


An order from her majesty consign'd 
Our young lieutenant to the genial care 

Of those in office : all the world look'd kind, 
(As it will look sometimes with the first stare, 

Which youth would not act ill to keep in mind,) 
As also did Miss ProtasofF then there, 

Named from her mystic office " I'Eprouveuse," 

A term inexplicable to the Muse. 




With her then, as in humble duty bound, 
Juan retired, — and so will I, until 

My Pegasus shall tire of touching ground. 
We have just lit on a " heaven-kissing hill, 

>o lofty that I feel my brain turn round, 
And all my fancies whirling like a mill ; 

Which is a signal to my nerves and brain, 

To take a quiet ride in some green lane. 







When Newton saw an apple fall, he found 
In that slight startle from his contemplation — 

'Tis said (for I'll not answer above ground 
For any sage's creed or calculation) — 

A mode of proving that the earth turn'd round 
In a most natural whirl, called " gravitation;" 

And this is the sole mortal who could grapple, 

Since Adam, with a fall, or with an apple. (^) 

Man fell with apples, and with apples rose, 

If this be true ; for we must deem the mode 
In which Sir Isaac Newton could disclose 

Tlirough the then unpaved stars the turnpike road, 
A thing to counterbalance human woes ; 

For ever since immortal man hath glow'd 
With all kinds of mechanics, and full soon 
Steam-engines will conduct him to the moon. 

(1) [" The celebrated apple tree, the fall of one of the apples of which 
U said to have turned the attention of Newton to the subject of gravity, 
was dcstrojed by wind about four years ago. The anecdote of the falling 



And wherefore this exordium? — Why, just now, 
In taking up this paltry sheet of paper, 

My bosom underwent a glorious glow, 
And my internal spirit cut a caper : 

And though so much inferior, as I know, 

To those who, by the dint of glass and vapour. 

Discover stars, and sail in the wind's eye, 

I wish to do as much by poesy. 


In the wind's eye I have sail'd, and sail ; but for 
The stars, I own my telescope is dim ; 

But at the least I have shunn'd the common shore. 
And leaving land far out of sight, would skim 

The ocean of eternity : the roar 

Of breakers has not daunted my slight, trim^ 

But still sea-worthy skiff; and she may float 

Where ships have founder'd, as doth many a boat. 


We left our hero, Juan, in the bloom 

Of favouritism, but not yet in the bliLsh ; — 

And far be it from my Muses to presume 
(For I have more than one Muse at a push) 

To follow him beyond the drawing-room : 
It is enough that Fortune found him flush 

Of youth, and vigour, beauty, and those things 

Which for an instant clip enjoyment's wings. 

apple is mentioned neither by Dr. Stukeley nor by Mr. Conduit, and, as I 
have not been able to find any authority for it whatever, I did not feel 
myself at liberty to use it." —Brewster's Life qf Newion, p. 344.] 



But soon they grow again and leave their nest. 

" Oh I " saith the Psalmist, " that I had a dove's 
Pinions to flee away, and be at rest ! " 

And who that recollects young years and loves, — 
Though hoary now, and with a withering breast, 

And palsied fancy, which no longer roves [rather 
Beyond its dimm'd eye's sphere, — but would much 
Sigh like his son, than cough like his grandfather ? 


But sighs subside, and tears (even widows') shrink. 
Like Arno in the summer, to a shallow, 

So narrow as to shame their wintry brink. 

Which threatens inundations deep and yellow ! 

Such difference doth a few months make. You'd think 
Grief a rich field which never would lie fallow ; 

Xo more it doth, its ploughs but change their boys, 

Who furrow some new soil to sow for joys. 


But coughs will come when sighs depart — and now 
And then before sighs cease ; for oft the one 

Will bring the other, ere the lake-like brow 
Is ruffled by a wrinkle, or the sun 

Of life reach'd ten o'clock: and while a glow. 
Hectic and brief as summer's day nigh done, 
> erspreads the cheek which seems too pure for clay, 

1 housands blaze, love, hope, die,— how happy they I— 




And wherefore this exordium? — Why, just now, 
In taking up this paltry sheet of paper, 

My bosom underwent a glorious glow, 
And my internal spirit cut a caper : 

And though so much inferior, as I know, 

To those who, by the dint of glass and vapour, 

Discover stars, and sail in the wind's eye, 

I wish to do as much by poesy. 


In the wind's eye I have sail'd, and sail ; but for 
The stars, I own my telescope is dim ; 

But at the least I have shunn'd the common shore. 
And leaving land far out of sight, would skim 

The ocean of eternity : the roar 

Of breakers has not daunted my slight, trim. 

But still sea-worthy skiff; and she may float 

Where ships have founder'd, as doth many a boat. 


We left our hero, Juan, in the hloom 

Of favouritism, but not yet in the blush ; — 

And far be it from my Muses to presume 
(For I have more than one Muse at a push) 

To follow him beyond the drawing-room : 
It is enough that Fortune found him flush 

Of youth, and vigour, beauty, and those things 

Which for an instant clip enjoyment's wings. 

apple is mentioned neither by Dr. Stukeley nor by Mr. Conduit, and, as I 
have not been able to find any authority for it whatever, I did not feel 
myself at liberty to use it."— Brewster's Life qf Newton, p. 344.] 



But soon they grow again and leave their nest. 

" Oh ! " saith the Psalmist, " that I had a dove's 
Pinions to flee away, and be at rest ! " 

And who that recollects young years and loves, — 
Though hoary now, and with a withering breast. 

And palsied fancy, which no longer roves [rather 
Beyond its dimm'd eye's sphere, — but would much 
Sigh like his son, than cough Hke his grandfather ? 


But sighs subside, and tears (even widows') shrink, 
Like Arno in the summer, to a shallow, 

So narrow as to shame their wintry brink, 

Which threatens inundations deep and yellow ! 

Such difference doth a few months make. You 'd think 
Grief a rich field which never would lie fallow ; 

\o more it doth, its ploughs but change their boys, 

Who furrow some new soil to sow for joys. 

But coughs will come when sighs depart — and now 

And then before sighs cease ; for oft the one 
Will bring the other, ere the lake-like brow 

Is ruffled by a wrinkle, or the sun 
Of life reach'd ten o'clock : and while a glow. 

Hectic and brief as summer's day nigh done, 
O'erspreads the cheek which seems too pure for clay, 
Thousands blaze, love, hope, die,— how happy they I— 




But Juan was not meant to die so soon. 

We left him in the focus of such glory 
As may be won by favour of the moon 

Or ladies' fancies — rather transitory 
Perhaps ; but who would scorn the month of June, 

Because December, with his breath so hoary, 
Must come ? Much rather should he court the ray, 
To hoard up warmth against a wintry day. 


Besides, he had some qualities which fix 
Middle-aged ladies even more than young : 

The former know what's what ; while new-fledged 
Know little more of love than what is sung 

In rhymes, or dreamt (for fancy will play tricks) 
In visions of those skies from whence Love sprung. 

Some reckon women by their suns or years, 

I rather think the moon should date the dears. 


And why? because she's changeable and chaste. 

I know no other reason, whatsoe'er 
Suspicious people, who find fault in haste, 

May choose to tax me with ; which is not fair. 
Nor flattering to " their temper or their taste," 

As my friend Jeffrey writes with such an air:(i) 
However, I forgive him, and I trust 
He will forgive himself; — if not, I must. 

(1) [See ante. Vol. XV. p. 22. — • " I have read the recent article of 
Jeffrey. I suppose the long and the short of it is, that he wishes to pro. 



Old enemies who have become new friends 
Should so continue — 'tis a point of honour; 

And I know nothing which could make amends 
For a return to hatred : I would shun her 

Like garlic, howsoever she extends 

Her hundred arms and legs, and fain outrun her. 

Old flames, new wives, become our bitterest foes — 

Converted foes should scorn to join with those. 


This were the worst desertion : — renegadoes. 
Even shuffling Southey, that incarnate lie, 

Would scarcely join again the " reformadoes," (J) 
Whom he forsook to fill the laureate's sty : 

And honest men from Iceland to Barbadoes, 
Whether in Caledon or Italy, 

Should not veer round with every breath, nor seize 

To pain, the moment when you cease to please. 


The lawyer and the critic but behold 
The baser sides of literature and life. 

And nought remains unseen, but much untold. 
By those who scour those double vales of strife. 

>kc me to reply. But I won't, for I owe him a good turn still for his kind- 
, •»» by-gone. Indeed, I presume that the present opportunity of attacking 
c again was irresistible; and I can't blame him, knowing what human 
iturc is." — A Letters, June, 1322.] 

r " Reformers," or rather " Reformed." The Haron Bradwardine in 
Waverley, is authority for the word 

X 2 


While common men grow ignorantly old, 

The lawyer's brief is like the surgeon's knife, 
Dissecting the whole inside of a question, 
And with it all the process of digestion. 


A legal broom's a moral chimney-sweeper, 
And that's the reason he himself 's so dirty ; 

The endless soot(^) bestows a tint far deeper 
Than can be hid by altering his shirt ; he 

Retains the sable stains of the dark creeper. 
At least some twenty -nine do out of thirty, 

In all their habits ; — not so you, I own ; 

As Caesar wore his robe you wear your gown. 


And all our little feuds, at least all mine, 
Dear Jeffrey, once my most redoubted foe 

(As far as rhyme and criticism combine 
To make such puppets of us things below), 

Are over: Here's a health to " Auld Lang Syne !'* 
I do not know you, and may never know 

Your face — but you have acted on the whole 

Most nobly, and I own it from my soul. (2) 


And when I use the phrase of " Auld Lang Syne ! " 
'Tis not address'd to you — the more's the pity 

For me, for I would rather take my wine 

With you, than aught (save Scott) in your proud city. 

(1) Query, suit ? — Printer's Devil. 

(2) [This tribute to a former antagonist displays so much frankness, 
generosity, and manly feeling, that it must eradicate all latent remains of 
animosity from the bosom of any but the most rancorous and vindictive. 
In addition to these merits, the felicitous introduction of the poet's recol- 
lections of his boyish days renders this passage equal in poetical beauty to 
any that has proceeded from his pen Campbell.] 


But somehow, — it may seem a schoolboy's whine, 

And yet I seek not to be grand nor witty, 
But I am half a Scot by birth, arid bred 
A whole one, and my heart flies to my head, — Q) 


As " Auld Lang Syne" brings Scotland, one and all, 
Scotch plaids, Scotch snoods, the blue hills, and 
clear streams. 

The Dee, the Don, Balgounie's brig's black wall, (2) 
All my boy feelings, all my gentler dreams 

Of what I then dreamt, clothed in their own pall. 
Like Banquo's offspring ; — floating past me seems 

My childhood in this childishness of mine : 

I care not — 'tis a glimpse of" Auld Lang Syne." 


And though, as you remember, in a fit 

Of wrath and rhyme, when juvenile and curly, 

I rail'd at Scots to show my wrath and wit. 
Which must be own'd was sensitive and surly, 

(1) [" I don't like to bore you about the Scotch novels (as they call them, 
though two of them are English, and the rest half so' ; but nothing can or 
could ever persuade mc, since I was the first ten minutes in your company, 
it you are not the man : to me these novels have so much of ' Auld lang 
ne' (I was bred a canny Scot till ten years old), that I never move with. 
It them." — Lord A to Sir W. Scott, Jan. 12. 1822.] 
2) The brig of Don, near the " aul.l toun" of Aberdeen, with its one 
..rch, and its black deep salmon stream below, is in my memory as yesterday. 
I still remember, though |>erhaps I may misquote, the awful proveib which 
made me pause to cross it, and yet lean over it with a childish delight, 
being an only son, at least by the mother's side. The saying as recol- 
lected by me was this, but I have never heard or seen it since I was nine 
years of age : — 

" Brig of Balgounle, black 's your tca% 
Wi' a wife's ae son, and a mear's aefoal, 
Doun ye shall fa' ! " 

X o 



Yet 'tis in vain such sallies to permit, 

They cannot quench young feelings fresh and early : 
I " scotcJid not kill'd" the Scotchman in my blood, 
And love the land of " mountain and of flood."(^) 


Don Juan, who was real, or ideal, — 

For both are much the same, since what men think 
Exists when the once thinkers are less real 

Than what they thought, for mind can never sink, 
And 'gainst the body makes a strong appeal ; 

And yet 'tis very puzzling on the brink 
Of what is call'd eternity, to stare. 
And know no more of what is here, than there; — 


Don Juan grew a very polish'd Russian — 

How we won't mention, why we need not say : 

Few youthful minds can stand the strong concussion 
Of any slight temptation in their way ; 

But his just now were spread as is a cushion 
Smooth'd for a monarch's seat of honour : gay 

Damsels, and dances, revels, ready money. 

Made ice seem paradise, and winter sunny. 


The favour of the empress was agreeable ; 

And though the duty wax'd a little hard. 
Young people at his time of life should be able 

To come off handsomely in that regard. 

(1) [" Land of brown heath and shaggy wood. 

Land of the mountain and the flood," &c. 

Lay of the Last Minstrel.2 


He was now growing up like a green tree, able 

For love, war, or ambition, which reward 
Their luckier votaries, till old age's tedium 
Make some prefer the circulating medium. 


Vbout this time, as might have been anticipated, 
Seduced by youth and dangerous examples, 

Don Juan grew, I fear, a little dissipated ; 
Which is a sad thing, and not only tramples 

On our fresh feelings, but — as being participated 
With all kinds of incorrigible samples 

Of frail humanity — must make us selfish, 

And shut our souls up in us like a shell-fish. 


This we pass over. We will also pass 
The usual progress of intrigues between 

Unequal matches, such as are, alas ! 

A young lieutenant's with a rwt old queen. 

But one who is riot so youthful as she was 
In all the royalty of sweet seventeen. 

Sovereigns may sway materials, but not matter, 

And wrinkles, the d d democrats, won't flatter. 


And Death, the sovereign's sovereign, though the 
Gracchus of all mortality, who levels, [great 

With his Agrarian laws,(^) the high estate 

Of him who feasts, and fights, and roars, and revels, 

(1) Tiberius Gracchu*, being tribune of the people, demanded in their 
name the execution of the Agrarian law ; by which all persons possessing 

X 4^ 


To one small grass-grown patch (which must await 

Corruption for its crop) with the poor devils 
Who never had a foot of land till now, — 
Death 's a reformer, all men must allow. 


He lived (not Death, but Juan) in a hurry 
Of waste, and haste, and glare, and gloss, and glitter, 

In this gay clime of bear-skins black and furry — 
Which (though I hate to say a thing that 's bitter) 

Peep out sometimes, when things are in a flurry, 
Through all the " purple and fine linen," fitter 

For Babylon's than Russia's royal harlot — 

And neutralise her outward show of scarlet. 


And this same state we won't describe : we would 
Perhaps from hearsay, or from recollection ; 

But getting nigh grim Dante's " obscure wood,"(^) 
That horrid equinox, that hateful section 

Of human years, that half-way house, that rude 
Hut, whence wise travellers drive with circum- 

Life's sad post-horses o'er the dreary frontier 

Of age, and looking back to youth, give one tear ; — 

above a certain number of acres were to be deprived of the surplus for the 
benefit of the poor citizens. 
(1) " Mi retrovai per un selva oscura." — Jw/erwo, Canto I. 

vMoi. DON JUAN. 313 


I won't describe, — that is, if I can help 
Description ; and I won't reflect, — that is, 

If I can stave off thought, which — as a whelp 
Chngs to its teat — sticks to me through the abyss 

Of this odd labyrinth ; or as the kelp 
Holds by the rock ; or as a lover's kiss 

Drains its first draught of lips: — but, as I said, 

I iDont philosophise, and will be read. 


Juan, instead of courting courts, was courted, — 
A thing which happens rarely : this he owed 

-Much to his youth, and much to his reported 
Valour ; much also to the blood he show'd. 

Like a race-horse ; much to each dress he sported. 
Which set the beauty off in which he glow'd, 

As purple clouds befringe the sun ; but most 

lie owed to an old woman and his post. 


He wrote to Spain : — and all his near relations, 
Perceiving he was in a handsome way 

Of getting on himself, and finding stations 
For cousins also, answer'd the same day. 

"cveral prepared themselves for emigrations; 
And eating ices, were o'erheard to say. 

That with the addition of a slight pelisse, 

^Iad^id'8 and Moscow's climes were of a piece. 



His mother, Donna Inez, finding, too. 

That in the Heu of drawing on his banker, 

Where his assets were waxing rather few, 

He had brought his spending to a handsome 
anchor, — 

Replied, " that she was glad to see him through 
Those pleasures after which wild youth will hanker ; 

As the sole sign of man's being in his senses 

Is, learning to reduce his past expenses. 


" She also recommended him to God, 

And no less to God's Son, as well as Mother, 

Warn'd him against Greek worship, which looks odd 
In Catholic eyes ; but told him, too, to smother 

Outward dislike, which don't look well abroad ; 
Inform'd him that he had a little brother 

Born in a second wedlock ; and above 

All, praised the empress's maternal love. 


" She could not too much give her approbation" 
Unto an empress, who preferr'd young men 

Whose age, and what was better still, whose nation 
And climate, stopp'd all scandal (now and then): — 

At home it might have given her some vexation ; 
But where thermometers sunk down to ten. 

Or five, or one, or zero, she could never 

Believe that virtue thaw'd before the river." 

, AM.. \. DON JUAN. 315 


Oh for 3i forty-parson power [^) to chant 
Thy praise, Hypocrisy ! Oh for a hymn 

Loud as the virtues thou dost loudly vaunt, 
Not practise ! Oh for trumps of cherubim ! 

Or the ear-trumpet of my good old aunt. 

Who, though her spectacles at last grew dim, 

Drew quiet consolation through its hint. 

When she no more could read the pious print. 


She was no hypocrite at least, poor soul. 
But went to heaven in as sincere a way 

As any body on the elected roll. 

Which portions out upon the judgment day 

Heaven's freeholds, in a sort of doomsday scroll, 
Such as the conqueror William did repay 

His knights with, lotting others' properties 

Into some sixty thousand new knights' fees. 


I can't complain, whose ancestors are there, 
Erneis, Radulphus — eight-and-forty manors 

(If that my memory doth not greatly err) 

Were theirreward for following Billy's banners;(2) 

And though I can't help thinking 'twas scarce fair 
To strip the Saxons of their hydes^ (•*) like tanners; 

Vet as they founded churches with the produce, 

Vou '11 deem, no doubt, they put it to a good use. 

(1) A metaphor taken from the " forty-horse power " of a steam-engine. 
That mad wag, the Reverend Sydney Smith, sitting by a brother clergy, 
man at dinner, oteerred afterwards that his dull neighbour had a " twelve- 
parson power" of conversation: 

^-•.- Collins's Peerage, vol. viL p. 71.] 
lyde." — I believe a hyde of land to be a legitimate word, and, as 
.-v..., „..L.jcct to the tax of a quibble. 



The gentle Juan flourish'd, though at times 
He felt like other plants called sensitive, 

Which shrink from touch, as monarchs do from rhymes, 
Save such as Southey can afford to give. 

Perhaps he long'd in bitter frosts for climes 
In which the Neva's ice would cease to live 

Before May-day : perhaps, despite his duty, 

In royalty's vast arms he sigh'd for beauty : 


Perhaps — but, sans perhaps, we need not seek 
For causes young or old : the canker-worm 

Will feed upon the fairest, freshest cheek. 
As well as further drain the wither'd form : 

Care, like a housekeeper, brings every week 
His bills in, and however we may storm. 

They must be paid : though six days smoothly run, 

The seventh will bring blue devils or a dun. 

I don't know how it was, but he grew sick : 

The empress was alarm'd, and her physician 
(The same who physick'd Peter) found the tick 

Of his fierce pulse betoken a condition 
Which augur'd of the dead, however quick 

Itself, and show'd a feverish disposition ; 
At which the whole court was extremely troubled, 
The sovereign shock'd, and all his medicines doubled. 



Low were the whispers, manifold the rumours 
Some said he had been poison'd by Potemkin ; 

Others talk'd learnedly of certain tumours, 
Exhaustion, or disorders of the same kin ; 

Some said 'twas a concoction of the humours. 
Which with the blood too readily will claim kin ; 

Others again were ready to maintain, 

" 'Twas only the fatigue of last campaign." 

XL I. 

But here is one prescription out of many : 
" Sodae sulphat. 5vj. 5fs. Mannae optim. 

Aq. fervent. f.J ifs. 5ij. tinct. Sennae [him) 

Haustus" (And here the surgeon came and cupp'd 

" R Pulv. Com. gr. iij. Ipecacuanhae " 

(With more beside if Juan had not stopp'd 'em). 

*' Bolus Potassae Sulphuret. sumendus, 

Et haustus ter in die capiendus." 


This is the way physicians mend or end us, 
Secundum artem : but although we sneer 

In health — when ill, we call them to attend us. 
Without the least propensity to jeer: 

While that " hiatus maxime deflendus" 
To be fill'd up by spade or mattock's near. 

Instead of gliding graciously down Lethe, 

We tease mild Baillie,(') or soft Abernethy.(2) 

1) [For an account of Dr. Baillie't visit to Ix)rd Byron, see ante, 
; XV. p. 124] 

[Both Dr. Baillic and John Abernethy, the great surgeon, were re- 

rkahle for ri/ntrmri.t fit upoc-rh. _ E.J 



Juan demurr'd at this first notice to 

Quit; and though death had threaten'd an ejection, 
His youth and constitution bore him through, 

And sent the doctors in a new direction. 
But still his state was delicate : the hue 

Of health but flicker'd with a faint reflection 
Along his wasted cheek, and seem'd to gravel 
The faculty — who said that he must travel. 


The climate was too cold, they said, for him, 
Meridian-born, to bloom in. This opinion 

Made the chaste Catherine look a little grim, 
Who did not like at first to lose her minion : 

But when she saw his dazzling eye wax dim. 
And drooping like an eagle's with dipt pinion, 

She then resolved to send him on a mission. 

But in a style becoming his condition. 


There was just then a kind of a discussion, 

A sort of treaty or negotiation 
Between the British cabinet and Russian, 

Maintain' d with all the due prevarication [on ; 
With which great states such things are apt to push 

Something about the Baltic's navigation, 
Hides, train-oil, tallow, and the rights of Thetis, 
Which Britons deem their " uti possidetis." 



So Catherine, who had a handsome way 
Of fitting out her favourites, conferred 

This secret charge on Juan, to display 
At once her royal splendour, and reward 

His services. He kiss'd hands the next day, 
Received instructions how to play his card, 

Was laden with all kinds of gifts and honours. 

Which show'd what great discernment was the 


But she was lucky, and luck's all. Your queens 

Are generally prosperous in reigning ; 
Which puzzles us to know what Fortune means. 

But to continue : though her years were waning, 
Her climacteric teased her like her teens ; 

And though her dignity brook'd no complaining, 
So much did Juan's setting off distress her, 

le could not find at first a fit successor. 


But time, the comforter, will come at last ; 

And four-an d-t wen ty hours, and twice that number 
Of candidates requesting to be placed. 

Made Catherine taste next night a quiet slumber: — 
Not that she meant to fix again in haste. 

Nor did she find the quantity encumber, 

ut always choosing with deliberation, 
tvept the place open for their emulation. 



While this high post of honour's in abeyance, 
For one or two days, reader, we request 

You'll mount with our young hero the conveyance 
Which wafted him from Petersburgh : the best 

Barouche, which had the glory to display once 
The fair czarina's autocratic crest. 

When, a new Iphigene, she went to Tauris, 

Was given to her favourite, (^) and now hore his. 


A bull-dog, and a bullfinch, and an ermine. 
All private favourites of Don Juan ; — for 

(Let deeper sages the true cause determine) 
He had a kind of inclination, or 

Weakness, for what most people deem mere vermin, 
Live animals : an old maid of threescore 

For cats and birds more penchant ne'er display'd. 

Although he was not old, nor even a maid ; — 

(1) The empress went to the Crimea, accompanied by the Emperor 
Joseph, in the year — I forget which. — [The Prince de Ligne, who accom- 
panied Catherine in her progress through her southern provinces, in 1787, 
gives the following particulars : — " We have been traversing, during seve- 
ral days, an immense tract of deserts formerly inhabited by hostile Tartar 
hordes, but recovered 6y the arms of her Majesty, and at present orna- 
mented from stage to stage with magnificent tents, where we are supplied 
with breakfast, collation, dinner, supper, and lodging ; and our encamp- 
ments, decorated with all the pomp of Asiatic splendour, present a noble 
military spectacle. The empress has left, in each town, presents to the 
amount of 100,000 roubles. Each day of rest is marked by the gift of some 
diamonds, by balls, by fireworks, and by illuminations extending for leagues 
in every direction. During the last two months T have been daily em- 
ployed in throwing money out of our carriage windows, and have thus 
distributed the value of some millions of livres." — ie«r« et Pensees.2 

r.NTOX. DON JUAN. 321 


The animals aforesaid occupied 

Their station : there were valets, secretaries, 
In other vehicles ; but at his side 

Set little Leila, who survived the parries 
He made 'gainst Cossacque sabres, in the wide 

Slaughter of Ismail. Though my wild Muse varies 
Her note, she don't forget the infant girl 
Wliom he preserved, a pure and living pearl. 


Poor little thing I She was as fair as docile. 
And with that gentle, serious character. 

As rare in living beings as a fossile [Cuvier !" 

Man, 'midst thy mouldy mammoths, " grand 

111 fitted was her ignorance to jostle 

With this o'erwhelming world, where all must err: 

But she was yet but ten years old, and therefore 

Was tranquil, though she knew not why or wherefore. 


Don Juan loved her, and she loved him, as 
Nor brother, father, sister, daughter love. 

I cannot tell exactly what it was ; 

He was not yet quite old enough to prove 

Parental feelings, and the other class, 

Call'd brotherly affection, could not move 

His bosom, — for he never had a sister : 

Ah ! if he had, how much he would have miss'd her ! 




And still less was it sensual ; for besides 
That he was not an ancient debauchee, 

(Who like sour fruit, to stir their veins' salt tides, 
As acids rouse a dormant alkali,) 

Although ('^ will happen as our planet guides) 
His youth was not the chastest that might be, 

There was the purest Platonism at bottom 

Of all his feelings — only he forgot 'em. 


Just now there was no peril of temptation ; 

He loved the infant orphan he had saved. 
As patriots (now and then) may love a nation ; 

His pride, too, felt that she was not enslaved 
Owing to him ; — as also her salvation [paved. 

Through his means and the church's might be 
But one thing's odd, which here must be inserted, 
The little Turk refused to be converted. 


'T was strange enough she should retain the impression 
Through such a scene of change, and dread, and 
slaughter ; 

But though three bishops told her the transgression, 
She show'd a great dislike to holy water : 

She also had no passion for confession ; 

Perhaps she had nothing to confess : — no matter 

Whate'er the cause, the church made little of it — 

She still held out that Mahomet was a prophet. 



In fact, the only Christian she could bear 

Was Juan ; whom she seem'd to have selected 

In place of what her home and friends once were. 
He naturally loved what he protected : 

And thus they form'd a rather curious pair, 
A guardian green in years, a ward connected 

In neither clime, time, blood, with her defender ; 

And yet this want of ties made theirs more tender. 


They journey'd on through Poland and througlv 
Famous for mines of salt and yokes of iron : 
Through Courland also, which that famous farce saw 
Which gave her dukes the graceless name of 

(I) In the Empress Anne's time, Biren, her favourite, assumed the name 
and arms of the " Birong" of France, which families are yet extant with 
that of England. There are still the daughters of Courland of that name ; 
one of them I remember seeing in England in the blessed year of the Allies 
(1814). — the Duchess of S. — to whom the English Duchess of Somerset pre- 
sented me as a namesake. — [" Ernest John Biren, become so famous by 
hi* great advancements, and his not less extraordinary reverses of fortune, 
was born in Courland, of a family of mean extraction. His grandfather 
had been head groom to James, the third Duke of Courland, and obtained 
tmta his master the present of a small estate in land. .... In 1714, he 
made his appearance at St. Petersburg, and solicited the place of page to 
the Princess Charlotte, wife of the Tzarovitch Alexey; but being con. 
tcmptuously rejected as a i>erson of mean extraction, retired to Mittau, 
where he chanced to ingratiate himself with Count Bestucheff, master of 
the household to Anne, widow of Frederic William Duke of Courland, 
who resided at Mittau. Being of a handsome figure and polite address, he 
soon gained the good-will of the duchess, and became her secretary and 
thief favourite On her being declared sovereign of Russia, Anne called 
Biren to Petersburg, and the secretary soon became Duke of Courland, and 
first minister or rather despot of Russia. On the death of Anne, which 

Y 2 



*Tis the same landscape which the modern Mars saw, 
Who march'd to Moscow, led by Fame, the siren I 
To lose by one month's frost some twenty years 
Of conquest, and his guard of grenadiers. 


Let this not seem an anti-climax : — " Oh ! [clay. 

My guard ! my old guard I " ( ^ ) exclaim'd that god of 
Think of the Thunderer's falling down below 

Carotid-artery-cutting Castlereagh ! 
Alas ! that glory should be chill'd by snow ! 

But should we wish to warm us on our way 
Through Poland, there is Kosciusko's name 
Might scatter fire through ice, like Hecla's flame. (2) 


From Poland they came on through Prussia Proper, 
And Konigsberg the capital, whose vaunt. 

Besides some veins of iron, lead, or copper. 
Has lately been the great Professor Kant.(^) 

happened in 1740, Biren, being declared regent, continued daily increasing 
his vexations and cruelties, till he was arrested, on the 18th of December, 
only twenty days after he had been appointed to the regency ; and at 
the revolution that ensued he was exiled to the frozen shores of the Oby." 

— T00KE,3 

(1) [Napoleon's exclamation at the Elys^e" Bourbon, June the 23d 

(2) [" Hope for a moment bade the world farewell. 

And freedom shriek'd when Kosciusko fell." 


(3) [Immanuel Kant, the celebrated founder of a new philosophical sect, 
was born at Konigsberg. He died in 1804.] 


Juan, who cared not a tobacco-stopper 
About philosophy, pursued his jaunt 
To Germany, whose somewhat tardy millions 
Have princes who spur more than their postilions. 


And thence through Berlin, Dresden, and the like, 
Until he reach'd the castellated Rhine : — 

Ye glorious Gothic scenes ! how much ye strike 
All phantasies, not even excepting mine ; 

A grey wall, a green ruin, rusty pike, 
Make my soul pass the equinoctial line 

Between the present and past worlds, and hover 

Upon their airy confine, half-seas-over. 


But Juan posted on through Manheim, Bonn, 
Which Drachenfels(i) frowns over like a spectre 

Of the good feudal times for ever gone, 

On which I have not time just now to lecture. 

From thence he was drawn onwards to Cologne, 
A city which presents to the inspector 

Eleven thousand maidenheads of bone, 

The greatest number flesh hath ever known. (-) 

(1) [" The castled crag of Drachenfels 

Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine," &a — 

Secants, VoL VIII. p. 15C.] 

(2) St Ursula and her eleven thousand virgins were still extant in 1816, 
and may be so yet, as much as ever. 

Y 3 


From thence to Holland's Hague and Helvoetsluys, 

That water-land of Dutchmen and of ditches, 
Where juniper expresses its best juice, 

The poor man's sparkling substitute for riches. 
Senates and sages have condemn'd its use — 

But to deny the mob a cordial, which is 
Too often all the clothing, meat, or fuel, 
Good government has left them, seems but cruel. 


Here he embark'd, and with a flowing sail 
Went bounding for the island of the free. 

Towards which the impatient wind blew half a gale ; 
High dash'd the spray, the bows dipp'd in the sea. 

And sea-sick passengers turn'd somewhat pale ; 
But Juan, season'd, as he well might be. 

By former Voyages, stood to watch the skiffs 

Which pass'd, or catch the first glimpse of the cliffs. 


At length they rose, like a white wall along 
The blue sea's border ; and Don Juan felt — 

What even young strangers feel a little strong 
At the first sight of Albion's chalky belt — 

A kind of pride that he should be among 

Those haughty shopkeepers, who sternly dealt 

Their goods and edicts out from pole to pole. 

And made the very billows pay them toll. 



I've no great cause to love that spot of earth, 
Which holds what might have been the noblest 

But though I owe it little but my birth, [nation; 
I feel a mix'd regret and veneration 

For its decaying fame and former worth. 

Seven years (the usual term of transportation) 

Of absence lay one's old resentments level. 

When a man's country 's going to the devil. 


Alas ! could she but fully, truly, know 

How her great name is now throughout abhorr'd; 
How eager all the earth is for the blow 

Which shall lay bare her bosom to the sword ; 
How all the nations deem her their worst foe. 

That worse than worst of foes, the once adored 
False friend, who held out freedom to mankind, 
And now would chain them, to the very mind; — 


Would she be proud, or boast herself the free, 
Who is but first of slaves ? The nations are 

In prison, — but the gaoler, what is he ? 
No less a victim to the bolt and bar. 

Is the poor privilege to turn the key 

Upon the captive, freedom ? He 's as far 

From the enjoyment of the earth and air 

Who watches o'er the chain, as they who wear. 
Y 4 



Don Juan now saw Albion's earliest beauties, 
Thy cliffs, dear Dover ! harbour, and hotel ; 

Thy custom-house, with all its delicate duties ; 
Thy waiters running mucks at every bell ; 

Thy packets, all whose passengers are booties 
To those who upon land or water dwell ; 

And last, not least, to strangers uninstructed. 

Thy long, long bills, whence nothing is deducted. 


Juan, though careless, young, and magnifique^ 
And rich in rubles, diamonds, cash, and credit, 

Who did not limit much his bills per week. 

Yet stared at this a little, though he paid it, — 

(His Maggior Duomo, a smart, subtle Greek, 

Before him summ'd the awful scroll and read it :) 

But doubtless as the air, though seldom suhny, 

Is free, the respiration's worth the money. 


On with the horses ! Off to Canterbury ! 

Tramp, tramp o'er pebble, and splash, splash through 
puddle ; 
Hurrah ! how swiftly speeds the post so merry ! 

Not like slow Germany, wherein they muddle 
Along the road, as if they went to bury 

Their fare ; and also pause besides, to fuddle 
With " schnapps" — sad dogs! whom "Hundsfot," or 

" Verflucter," 
Affect no more than lightning a conductor. 



Now there is nothing gives a man such spirits, 
Leavening his blood as cayenne doth a curry, 

As going at full speed — no matter where its 
Direction be, so 'tis but in a hurry, 

And merely for the sake of its own merits ; 
For the less cause there is for all this flurry, 

The greater is the pleasure in arriving 

At the great end of travel — which is driving. 


They saw at Canterbury the cathedral ; 

Black Edward's helm, (^) and Becket's bloody 
stone, (2) 
Were pointed out as usual by the bedral. 

In the same quaint, uninterested tone : — 
There 's glory again for you, gentle reader ! All 

Ends in a rusty casque and dubious bone, (^) 
Half-solved into those sodas or magnesias, 
Which form that bitter draught, the human species. 

(1) [On the tomb of the prince lies a whole length brass figure of him, 
hia armour with a hood of mail, and a scull cap enriched with a coronet, 
which has been once studded with jewels, but only the collets now remain.] 

(2) [Becket was assassinated in the cathedral, in 1171.] 

(5) The French inscription on the Black Prince's monument is thus 
translated in the History of Kent : — 

" Whoso thou be that passcst by 
Where these corps interred lie. 
Understand what I shall say. 
As at this time speak I may. 
Such as thou art, sometime was I. 
Such aa I am, such shall thou be. 



The effect on Juan was of course sublime : 

He breathed a thousand Cressys, as he saw- 
That casque, which never stoop'd except to Time. 

Even the bold Churchman's tomb excited awe, 
Who died in the then great attempt to cUmb 

O'er kings, who now at least must talk of law 
Before they butcher. Little Leila gazed, 
And asked why such a structure had been raised : 


And being told it was " God's house," she said 
He was well lodged, but only wonder'd how 

He suffer'd Infidels in his homestead, 
The cruel Nazarenes, who had laid low 

His holy temples in the lands which bred 
The True Believers ; — and her infant brow 

Was bent with grief that Mahomet should resign 

A mosque so noble, flung like pearls to swine. 

* I little thought on the hour of death 
So long as I enjoyed breath. 
Great riches here I did possess. 
Whereof I made great nobleness ; 
I had gold, silver, wardrobes, and 
Great treasures, horses, houses, land. 
But now a caitiff poor am I, 
Deep in the ground, lo here I liej 
My beauty great is all quite gone, 
My flesh is wasted to the bone; 
And if you should see me this day, 
I do not think but you would say. 
That I had never been a man. 
So much alter'd now I am. "J 

cxsjo X. DON JUAN. 331 


On! on! through meadows, managed like a garden, 
A paradise of hops and high production ; 

For after years of travel by a bard in 

Countries of greater heat, but lesser suction, 

A green field is a sight which makes him pardon 
The absence of that more sublime construction ! 

Which mixes up vines, olives, precipices, 

Glaciers, volcanos, oranges, and ices. 


And when I think upon a pot of beer 

But I won't weep ! — and so drive on, postilions J 

As the smart boys spurr'd fast in their career, 
Juan admired these highways of free millions ; 

A country in all senses the most dear 

To foreigner or native, save some silly ones. 

Who " kick against the pricks" just at this juncture, 

And for their pains get only a fresh puncture. 


What a delightful thing's a turnpike road I 
So smooth, so level, such a mode of shaving 

The earth, as scarce the eagle in the broad 

Air can accomplish, with his wide wings waving. 

Had such been cut in Phaeton's time, the god 
Had told his son to satisfy his craving 

With the York mail ; — but onward as we roll, 

" Surgit amari aliquid" — the toll I 



Alas I how deeply painful is all payment ! [purses. 

Take lives, take wives, take aught except men's 
As Machiavel shows those in purple raiment. 

Such is the shortest way to general curses. 
They hate a murderer much less than a claimant 

On that sweet ore which every body nurses. — 
Kill a man's family, and he may brook it. 
But keep your hands out of his breeches' pocket : 


So said the Florentine : ye monarchs, hearken 
To your instructor. Juan now was borne, 

Just as the day began to wane and darken. 

O'er the high hill, which looks with pride or scorn 

Toward the great city. — Ye who have a spark in 
Your veins of Cockney spirit, smile or mourn 

According as you take things well or ill ; — 

Bold Britons, we are now on Shooter's Hill IQ) 


The sun went down, the smoke rose up, as from 
A half-unquench'd volcano, o'er a space 

Which well beseem'd the " Devil's drawing-room," 
As some have qualified that wondrous place : 

(1) [" Under his proud survey the city lies. 

And like a mist beneath a hill doth rise, 

Whose state and wealth, the business and the crowd. 

Seem at this distance but a darker cloud. 

And is, to him who rightly things esteems. 

No other in effect than what it seems ; 

Where, with like haste, tho' several ways they run. 

Some to undo, and some to be undone ; 

While luxury and wealth, like war and peace. 

Are each the other's ruin and increase." — Denoam,] 

( ASTO X. DON JUAN. 333 

But Juan felt, though not approaching home, 

As one who, though he were not of the race, 
Revered the soil, of those true sons the mother. 
Who butcher'd half the earth, and bullied t' other. (^ ) 


A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping, 

Dirty and dusky, but as wide as eye 
Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping 

In sight, then lost amidst the forestry 
Of masts ; a wilderness of steeples peeping 

On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy ; 
A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown 
On a fool's head — and there is London Town ! 


But Juan saw not this : each wreath of smoke 
Appear'd to him but as the magic vapour 

Of some alchymic furnace, from whence broke 
The wealth of worlds (a wealth of tax and paper) : 

The gloomy clouds, which o'er it as a yoke 
Are bow'd, and put the sun out like a taper^ 

Were nothing but the natural atmosphere. 

Extremely wholesome, though but rarely clear. 


He paused — and so will I; as doth a crew 
Before they give their broadside. By and by, 

My gentle countrymen, we will renew 

Our old acquaintance ; and at least I'll try 

(1) [India; America.] 

334< DON JUAN. 


To tell you truths you will not take as true, 

Because they are so; — a male Mrs. Fry, Q) 
With a soft besom will I sweep your halls, 
And brush a web or two from off the walls. 


Oh Mrs. Fry I Wliy go to Newgate ? Why 

Preach to poor rogues ? And wherefore not begin 

With Carlton, or with other houses ? Try 
Your hand at harden'd and imperial sin. 

To mend the people's an absurdity, 
A jargon, a mere philanthropic din^ 

Unless you make their betters better : — Fy ! 

I thought you had more religion, Mrs. Fry. 


Teach them the decencies of good threescore ; 

Cure them of tours, hussar and highland dresses ,' 
Tell them that youth once gone returns no more, 

That hired huzzas redeem no land's distresses ; 
Tell them Sir William Curtis (-) is a bore. 

Too dull even for the dullest of excesses, 
The witless FalstafF of a hoary Hal, 
A fool whose bells have ceased to ring at all. 


Tell them, though it may be perhaps too late 
On life's worn confine, jaded, bloated, sated. 

To set up vain pretences of being great, 
'Tis not so to be good ; and be it stated, 

(1) [The Quaker lady, whose benevolent exertions have effected so great 
a change in the condition of the female prisoners in Newgate.] 

(2) CThis worthy alderman died in 1S29J 


The worthiest kings have ever loved least state ; 

And tell them Butyou won't, and I have prated 

Just now enough ; but by and by I'll prattle 
Like Roland's horn(i) in Roncesvalles' battle. 

(1) [" O for a blast of that dread horn, 

On Fontarabian echoes borne. 

That to King Charles did come. 
When Rowland brave, and Olivier, 
And every paladin and peer, 

On Roncesvalles died." — Marmion.2 


London : 

Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode, 



I 9 - woa 





Byron, George Gordon Noel By: 
6th baron